Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christian living in a single word?

Well, not quite, but I've been thinking a lot about the joys of contentment lately--how nice it is that I really don't feel the compulsion to get a new vehicle, new wardrobe, and so on.  No need for a new TV to replace the 20 year old model, or a new stereo, or to replace 20 year old sweaters or 100 year old iron skillets.  They still work just fine.  The bike shop could, for $2500 or so, sell me a bike that weighs 15 lbs less than my current ride--but then I remember that I can take far more weight off the road simply by riding the 33 year old bike (and its 42 1/2 year old rider) I've got a little more often.  Some things might be nice, but there is no fiery urge to go off to the mall, or even Cabela's.

Along the same lines, consider how the first concrete action Paul tells Philippian believers to consider--after God counsels us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)--is to do everything without complaining.   In a nutshell, this fruit of the work of the Spirit (vs. 13) can be summed up as "contentment."

Or, in the Mosaic law, "Thou shalt not covet."  And as I consider the crisis we're going through now--an economic crisis brought on as homeowners used their mortgages as an ATM while government treated taxpayers the same way--in short a crisis of covetousness--there are a lot of worse things that we could preach than contentment, I think.


Gino said...

this is a nice tie-in to my recent self reflection on living abundantly, and what it means to do that.
abundantly, in this case, not intended to mean materially.

tobin said...

Good reminders, and timely for me personally. For various reasons, I've been finding it difficult lately to be content. My men's group from church is working through Chip Ingram's "Living on the Edge" which is addressing much of this from the perspective of Romans 12.