Friday, March 23, 2018

College of Content

“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil 4:11)

Until today, I never considered the fact that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. In fact, man is ill-content by nature. Spurgeon describes it as this:

“Coveteousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.”

Woah! Spotlight suddenly trains on areas of discontentment in my own life and it’s not very pretty. In fact, it reflects the state of a field of thistles and brambles, entangled and choking out all that is good and fruitful.

If we want that contentment Paul speaks about, the fields (our heart) must be cultivated by God’s Word. If we want a fruitful garden, it must be tenderly cared for, the soil enriched, the planting and pruning and harvesting at the appointed time. We cannot hurry along a fruitful field, neither can we delay its care. It requires diligent maintenance.

Paul said, “I have learned … to be content.” He understood well that contentment didn’t come as second nature to him. He learned the mystery of this great truth the way those who seek to be content in whatever state learn it by being “specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.”

True and abiding contentment will cost us. It will be painful at times. We will find it difficult resist the urge to complain and grumble, to murmur and show discontent.

Let’s be careful to silence those complaints and murmurings. Let’s become diligent pupils in the College of Content.



(c) 2015 Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved

NOTE: Based on C. H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening: Daily Readings for February 16.

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