Thursday, October 1, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 28 - Contentment



The attitude we studied in our Bible study this past week was covetousness. Before we opened our books and Bibles to begin, we all rather sheepishly looked at one another and unanimously agreed that this was one attitude we thought we weren't going to have to be too concerned about, but......

As James MacDonald took us through the study it became apparent to each of us that we all, in one way or another, do indeed struggle with covetousness. Here is the definition he gave us:

"Covetousness is wanting something so much that you lose your satisfaction in God. It's looking elsewhere for what only God can give."

Gulp...rather convicting - especially after the time of self-examination I've undergone recently. One of the areas of covetousness he listed was "coveting status or position." I looked into my own little heart and saw not a blatant jockeying for power and position, but that subtle, pervasive need for the approval of others.

Another area - "coveting your own agenda." Oh dear - another hit. How I dearly love to have everyone and everything under control, and I do so enjoy making my own plans.

The encouraging part of the study is that for every negative attitude there is an opposing positive one. Contentment is the answer to a heart marred by covetousness.

"Contentment," writes James MacDonald, " is a satisfaction in God's sufficient provision, to rest in what you have and to seek nothing more, a settled sense of adequacy."

If I have a heart that is fully trusting and fully satisfied with whatever the Father provides or allows into my life - then I will have genuine contentment. When I am always striving for something more, the more will never be enough. When I have an eternal perspective, I will have more than I could ever have imagined.

And my heart will be filled with joy!

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart is."
Matt. 6:20-21

Blessings,
Linda

11 comments:

christy rose said...

Oh Wow Linda! Completely convicted here! I find myself in contentment a lot. But then there are those times that I seem to wander in my satisfaction and I can see from this post that my satisfaction can and should only be found in Jesus alone, "a settled sense of adequacy." Thanks for the revelation.

Anne@Rosydreamer said...

Thank you for sharing your insight. This reminds me of a sermon where our pastor taught that idolatry can be when you turn to things other than God when you are empty or hurting and need to be filled.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Linda...humbled and realizing that there are probably far too many areas of coveteousness in my life. They are no doubt subtle, but there nonetheless. The verse that comes to mind is, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." The place of contentment is where true joy, peace, and rest can be found. What better "gain" than what contentment has to offer.

Laura said...

Ouch, Linda!

This is a biggie with we women, is it not? I don't think it is so much material possessions with us, more character traits?

I wish I could be more like that...I wish I was more disciplined...how does she do it?

Maybe it's that comparison trap we all fall into, but you really hit it. Contentment is when we let Him fill all those desires.

Very good devotional!

Maria said...

Linda, Ladies... you're soooo right!
I love how the pastor of the church I attend says it: "Living for an audience of One"
just One...

simple advice for the narrow path ~
tough advice for a hard-head like me ;o)

happy weekend wanderings to you!
Maria

Maria said...

ps. Linda, your mom's quilt is beautiful!
The stitching is beautiful!

L.L. Barkat said...

"Gulp."

Oh yes. :)

grammy said...

You are always teaching me something... or at least causing me to open my eyes.

Dianne said...

Great devotional, Linda!

Prairie Chick said...

I've missed stopping in to see you, Linda. Always such a sweet heart shared here. I am looking forward to the coming months of a calmer life where I can once again connect with my dear sisters who encourage and challenge me so.

Holley Gerth - (in)courage said...

Great post, Linda! I love how you drew a distinction between physical coveting (stuff) and emotional coveting (heart). I agree with you that women seem to struggle much more with the latter. You challenged me to think about that differently! Thanks!