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Written by Elihu Anderson for “Elihu’s Corner” @ http://elihuscorner.com/
Original post @ https://elihuscorner.com/2022/04/30/learning-contentment-scripture-writing-plan-may-2022/
Learning Contentment: Scripture Writing Plan May 2022
True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.
Contentment is not inherited, it is learned. Most people discover—at a very young age—that they cannot have everything they want, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting everything they cannot have. Some wiser people have also found out that getting their desires didn’t necessarily satisfy them; often it left them craving more.
When the Israelites were traveling in the desert after their glorious exodus from Egypt, they immediately started complaining about how much better life was back in Egypt (where, by the way they had been miserable slaves). During their journey, God provided manna and water and made it so their clothing and shoes never wore out. But the manna wasn’t “good enough.” The quail was boring. The desert was hot. The journey was taking too long. The promised land had great fruit but scary people.
Nothing was ever “enough” for them.
How are you and I any different?
Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to own a home. Maybe you worked for years earning the down payment and you have dreamed of this home forever. When you finally move in to this “dream home,” what happens?
“I don’t like this color.”
“I want new furniture.”
“This layout isn’t as good as I thought it would be.”
“The neighbors are too loud.”
Almost immediately, what you’ve got isn’t enough… again.
It’s not just material possessions that have the potential to cause us discontent. It happens in relationships, status, location, and more. Single people want to be married. Married people want friends. Parents want some alone time. The lonely want less alone time. This place is to crowded. This place is too lonely.
We are constantly seeking “the next big thing.”
So how do we learn contentment?
First, as a child of God, it is vital to deepen our relationship with God. I guarantee you, He has done more for you than you might recognize. The older I get, the more I see how often He has blessed my family in ways I didn’t understand until much later. The Lord is always present and faithful, always providing our basic spiritual and physical needs (not our endless wants). When we dwell on who He is and all He does, it becomes clearer that He is all we truly need–and that is when we learn contentment.
Second, we have to recognize that this life will never be “enough.” This seems contradictory on the surface, but consider: because this life is temporary and this world is NOT our permanent home, we have an innate longing for the eternal. We attempt to satisfy this longing with earthly stuff—power, possessions, pleasure—only to find out that they leave us empty and dissatisfied. Once we recognize how fleeting it all is, we are free to stop chasing these passing pleasures to pursue lasting joy.
Third, accept that this will be a “continuing education course.” As long as you and I live in this world, we are going to live through some challenging situations. Maybe you cannot find a spouse or have been recently widowed; maybe you can’t have children or maybe you have children with disabilities; maybe you are in a miserable job or school or other life situation. Such things definitely breed discontentment! Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4.11-13). Contentment is learned, and because the circumstances of life are constantly in flux, we will be adjusting and learning throughout all the seasons of life.
This month, we will write through Scriptures on contentment. I would love for you to share your insights as you write through these passages. You can comment on this page or on the Elihu’s Corner Facebook page or Instagram account (@elihuscorner).
To download a black and white printable PDF, please click the link below:
Sara McBroom has provided copying & tracing sheets for your young scripture writers. To download, click the links below:
It is my prayer that each of us will grow in Christ as we meditate on His word.