See the sky and hills!

See the sky and hills!
In Quiet Moments Here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I was on my way to Bible study this afternoon, and had a flat tire.  While waiting for help, I started reading the chapter in the book that is our study guide, which I hadn't taken time to read all week.  While I didn't get to my group, reading even the beginning of this week's chapter proved quite valuable.  Last week we discussed anxiety, and I have had my share of that.  On contentment, which I began reading today, I'm a slow learner, so I hope I can get the remainder of the chapter read, and read over again, maybe a few times.  Contentment is the opposite of anxiety, it seems, and I had not thought of it in that way.

My feeling has been that contentment is the opposite of jealousy, or greed, or naturally, discontentment.  Sometimes, I've even thought that contentment wasn't all good, in that it could lead to a lack of ambition; a person too contented may never have a desire to change, even to improve.

The problem with my definitions and wandering around the meaning of the word is that I have been relying only on my own understanding, or lack of it.  If I had made it to my group today, and had revealed that last bit of information about myself, I'm sure someone would have (or should have) reminded me that the Bible says not to depend on my own understanding.  Well, I guess I learned that on my own, even though I forget all too often.

About contentment, the Apostle Paul must have been an expert.  He was in prison, in chains, and yet could say he had learned to be content.  The nice thing about that, for me, was that even Paul had to learn it.  There is hope for me then.  Today I learned that the word Paul used came from the Greek word (autarkes)  meaning " 'to be self-sufficient,' 'to be satisfied,' 'to have enough.' " (John Macarthur, Jr.,1993,  Anxiety Attacked)  Now that I have that straightened out, there is hope that I will begin to really understand what it means in my life.  In this same chapter, Macarthur goes on to remind his readers that Paul didn't leave us hanging helpless.  On the contrary, it would be impossible to be content in that deeper sense Paul speaks of unless we become aware of one truth: God is able to give us everything we need, therefore, with God, contentment is possible.  Without God, I would challenge anyone to tell me true and complete contentment is possible.

For myself, I try to do many things without God, but those are the things wherein I fail.  No matter how many times I need to be reminded, the fact remains, I need Him.  How about you?  Are you, like me, still trying to do way too many things on your own?  Just remember, it isn't necessary.  He's waiting for your call.

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