Sunday, January 10, 2010

Contentment Revisited



It isn't something new for me. I have struggled with it all of my life - this need for approval. When we studied contentment in our Bible Study, it spoke volumes to me. I wrote about it here, hoping that I had settled the issue once and for all.

However, as with so many things that I understand intellectually the difficult part is getting it settled in my heart and living it out. I identify with Paul when he says:
"For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish." (Romans 7:19)
So while it isn't something new, it is something the Lord wants to change in my life. I am so humbled by the grace and patient love He extends to me, by the gentle way He reminds me of the truth He wants to graft into my heart. This morning I read this in my devotional "Joy and Strength:"

"If your sphere is outwardly humble, if it even appears to be quite insignificant, God understands it better than you do, and it is a part of His wisdom to bring out great sentiments in humble conditions, great principles in works that are outwardly trivial, great characters under great adversities and heavy loads of encumbrance. Let it fill you with cheerfulness and exalted feeling, however deep in obscurity your lot may be, that God is leading you on, girding you for a work, preparing you for a good that is worthy of His divine magnificence. If God is really preparing us all to become that which is the very highest and best thing possible, there ought never to be a discouraged or uncheerful being in the world."
Horace Bushnell


It is a curious thing that, for me at least, when we do the thing we love it is not fulfilling without the approval of others - without some sort of tangible evidence of its worth. My desire is to quietly walk in obedience, seeking only His approval. I humbly admit that it is a difficult thing. It ought not to be. It is far too easy to get caught up in the here and now, forgetting the eternal things.

I am placing another marker on the path that I might remember to walk in contentment, knowing He is working all things together for good in my life.

Blessings,
Linda

16 comments:

Sandy said...

Enjoyed your transparency today,Linda.
I often feel the same. Very encouraging.
Thanks. Love the new quilt photo.
Blessings,
Sandy

Chuck said...

Linda, how beautiful and powerful. It is wonderful to see that the desire you had so many years ago to write has been given wings! What a blessing,
Susan Thompson

Maria said...

You write of TRUTH here, Linda~
Today, at church we heard this quote...Your writing here reminds me of it~
"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
Linda, thank you for the reminders and your encouragements!
A Calm and Gentle Sunday evening to you ~
Maria

Maria said...

ps. the quote is from Ronald Reagan!

Heather said...

Oh Linda, another post... beautifully written... just for me! Thank you~

grammy said...

very thought provoking words.
always nice to read what you have to say
and I really like that picture of jesus (o:

elizabeth said...

Such encouraging words. Love this Bible verse and it has really spoken to me today.

christy rose said...

It is amazing! That need we have for approval! But I do not think it is a bad thing! We just need to realize that God made us that way and He is the only one that can fill that ache within our hearts to be approved of, unconditionally approved of! Not because of anything we do but because of what Jesus has done for us. And, that never changes. So, neither does His approval of us. His work on the cross was a permanent solution for our approval addiction. He accomplished for us what we could never accomplish for ourselves. Perfect righteousness and right standing before God enabling His stamp of approval upon our lives forever. He is the only One who will always approve of us all the time! The only One! But, what excitement that brings to know that God, the holy, righteous Creator of the Universe not only approves of me but sees me as righteous and holy too. That kinda fills that approval need when we remember that. He loves us so!

emily wierenga said...

thank you... for being so honest. i too struggle with this. love to you sweet linda. emily.

L.L. Barkat said...

Linda, what a sweet comment over at HCB. You could purchase a copy directly from me. The January price is $6.03, plus $6.00 shipping and handling. I'm not really selling them anymore this way, but for you... :) Send me an email.

Donnetta said...

Beautiful, encouraging and challenging all at the same time! You know I so get this!! Thanks for spurring me on to seek His approval above all else!

the voice of melody said...

It's so true, only the Lord's approval should be what matters but we're all short-sighted from time to time. Thank you for a much-needed reminder.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Dawn said...

Beautiful, as usual!

I finally have the twins' b-day post up!

Bev said...

Have you heard of a book 'Approval Addiction' - I read it a few years back and it was very helpful. I think many, many women struggle with this.

deb said...

Oh this I feel so deeply, Linda.
In all of our lives , in many ways, so many of us struggle with this.
Beautifully articulated.

Maxine said...

This is so true of us all, Linda. And indeed it is a hard thing to go forward doing what we feel is right even without the acceptance or approval of others. Praying for you and for me that His smile will be sufficient, yes?