- You can have a good, even great, thing going on
AND . . . ALSO
- That good or great thing will still need work and effort to both maintain and spur growth.
- You can be content with your life . . . current living situation, work, marriage, and so on
AND . . . ALSO
- I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, contentment does not mean complacency.
Working toward growth does not equal discontentment.
None of these are mutually exclusive statements but rather, are mutually inclusive truths.
Growth and movement are both necessary to avoid becoming stagnant, at best, or losing ground, at worst. We can be both content, at peace, with where we are in life and look at that good or great thing and acknowledge the importance of putting in the work and effort toward continued growth.
Contentment is a state of satisfaction in where we currently are in life while continually pushing through the process of growth in our walk with Christ, in our marriages, our families, and in our daily lives.
Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
These verses have so often been misused and misaligned as an excuse for laziness and lackadaisical living. But Paul’s intention was never a call to mediocrity.
Look up just a few verses to Philippians 3:12-16, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”
Obviously, the prize to which Paul is referring is eternity in heaven with Jesus. However, the fact remains, that salvation is free, but we also must put in the continual effort, on our parts, to grow in our walk with Christ and live victoriously through Him. God will not force Himself upon us. He will not force us to pray, study, or seek Him. Further, the truth that continual effort is necessary holds not only in our relationship with Jesus but also in our relationships with others . . . our spouse, our family, our friends . . . it takes work to develop, maintain, grow, and avoid stagnation and atrophy in all of our relationships. It’s also worth noting that the closer we move toward Christ, the more in line everything else becomes. The more we live out what it looks like to have our priorities in proper order. Realizing the importance of contentment, no matter what “life” throws at us – knowing and believing that life is not always going to look perfect, but we know THE ONE who is perfect and can rest in that come good or bad – also means owning the danger that lies in a life of complacency, of drifting without purpose.
Our lives, our relationships, our day to day living, should be a testimony to Jesus. Our priorities and purposes should reflect Him in every way. We should daily press into Him and toward the goal(s) to which we’ve been called. We should be willing to put in the work and the effort in order to have the healthiest life, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, possible here on earth and facilitate and fuel continual and appropriate growth in every area and relationship He places on our hearts and in our paths.
Copyright 2021, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.