Friday, October 26, 2012

30 Days of Authenticity-Day 18: All You Need

It can be tough to be content in society today.  We have constant media sources telling us what we need to own and wear, what kind of cars to drive, where to live, and more.  This unending stream of marketing tells us that we cannot be complete, satisfied, or even happy without a constant slew of upgrades for our possessions.  We are brainwashed into thinking that a happy, fulfilled life isn't possible without the most expensive homes and cars.  We can't possibly be happy without the next new gadget being released.  It's okay to want nicer things, but don't let your wants control you.  Remember your priorities and learn to be truly content with what you have.  Let's go a step beyond that: we've got to be content even if we don't have tomorrow the things we cherish today.  We're striving for authenticity here, and your "stuff" isn't who you are in Christ.  First Timothy is only one of several verses that reminds us of that old saying "you can't take it with you."

 "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content." ~1 Timothy 6:6-8

This lack of contentment goes beyond our possessions though.  What about our jobs?  There's nothing quite like settling into a new job for a few months, just to start sending out resumes once the probationary period is over.  Lots of folks are always looking for greener grass.  I mean, there's always a better job somewhere, right?  The same goes for churches; we're often searching for the "next big thing" there too.  Sometimes this can apply to families, friends, and life in general.  We can get so discontented with life, but it's often simply because we're comparing our lives to others.  Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." We've got to stop the constant comparisons and focus on the life God has given each of us.

 "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches." ~1 Corinthians 7:17

Even so, contentment can still be hard to find these days.  Despite this Jerry McGuire "Show me the money!" attitude we're told to have, our contentment is not found in money.  It's not found in possessions or employment.  It's not found in churches or clothes.  Authentic contentment can only come from one source.  Contentment is found in Him alone.  That's why we see people with millions of dollars and all the material things money can buy who are still so empty on the inside.  We often do the very same thing.  We know His love  and have always experienced complete provision, yet we're constantly searching for security and identity in all the wrong things.  We can't find contentment in anything but Him. 
"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~Hebrews 13:5
"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." ~Philippians 4:11-12

If your contentment is found in Him alone, you're okay whether you get a sweet refund or owe thousands and thousands when April 16 rolls around.  You're okay whether you're eating Raman noodles or surf and turf.  You're okay when you're alone or with 50 of your "closest" friends.  If you're finding contentment in Him alone, you're genuinely okay with your season in life.  You can see purpose and give thanks in the good and bad.  It's okay to smile or be excited when something new comes along; it really is.  Just be sure that you still know who you are and can be just as satisfied in the wilderness.  After all, none of these earthly things matter in the end.  Be authentically content in Him.  He is truly all you need

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