Content in a World of Discontentment

Photo by Hannah Olinger

Photo by Hannah Olinger

Do you ever find that once you have something you’ve been longing for the contentment that you expected eludes you? Maybe you’ve worked hard to achieve some status or paycheck that you just knew would satisfy you only to gain it and not feel satisfied or content. We all do!

For so long all I could think about was being able to work from home. Three and a half years ago that dream of mine came true. And I am SO GRATEFUL! But I find myself, from time to time, being discontent with it. Now sometimes I think, “If only I were retired”! What! Hold on just a minute! I work from H O M E. Shouldn’t that be enough? Yes, it should. And most of the time, it is. But you get my point, right?

As humans, we all struggle with discontentment at some point. Our goal should be like that of the Apostle Paul who said,

…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Phil 4:11 ESV

Easier said than done! But with Christ we can be content whatever our circumstances. The only way we are going to live in a state of contentment is to trust in Christ. We have to rest in Him.

Yes, there are times, I believe, Jesus causes us to feel an unrest when He is leading us to do something that is out of our comfort zone. But I’m talking about being content with who we are in Christ and with what we have in this world. If you’ve ever watched even one commercial, you know that the world system does not want you to be content.

You may ask, “Why is it important to be content?” My first response to that is an answer I heard often from my Mother. “Because God (Mom would say ‘I’) said so.” And my second response is this, we know that God loves us and wants His best for us. Knowing that and knowing His word teaches us that we should be content, we should want to be content. When we’re content, we can listen for His voice and His will. But when we are discontent, we are so busy trying to get more, be more or do more that we miss His voice and His will and we stay in a state of chaos. As believers, we are to be peacemakers. How can we be peacemakers when our lives are full of chaos from discontentment?

So if we are to live in contentment in a world of discontent, what are we to do?

  • Know you are His

  • Know that He loves you

  • Trust Jesus with today and tomorrow

  • Be obedient to His word and His call

  • Rest in the fact that there is NOTHING you can do to make Jesus love you less or more. You are enough because Jesus saved you.

So from today forward show the world that you CAN and WILL be content in a world of discontentment!

Primary Colors in a Gray World

Photo by Craig Whitehead

Photo by Craig Whitehead

Are you a primary color in a gray world? You know what I mean. That person who lights up a room just by walking in it. Maybe it’s your smile or your bright personality or your festive fashion that draws folks to you.

If you are that primary color in a gray world rest in the fact that God made you to stand out so stand out for His glory! You know I don’t mean be obnoxious or arrogant but confident and loving. God has gifted you to touch the lives of others in a unique way.

There are countless people who are struggling beneath a load that you and I cannot see. One smile or kind word can make a difference to them. We all need interaction and touch and to feel loved.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV

Those of us who are surrounded by people we love and who love us sometimes take for granted the hugs and kisses or the touch of another person. I’m a touchy feely person, so if you are around me for very long you are most likely getting a hug or pat or both! Often I do that without realizing it, but sometimes I am very purposeful to offer a hug because I’ve learned that some people go day in and day out without ever being touched. I can’t imagine that!

You can be a primary color in a gray world to someone, even if it’s not your nature.

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. Dr. Seuss

I love that quote by Dr. Seuss! It’s so true. Often times we all have those feelings of “do I really matter” but the truth is we do. We matter more than we know to someone. Just like we need to be reminded that we matter, we need to be on purpose of reminding others that they matter, too!

So whether you feel like you’re a primary color in a gray world or not, you can be such to someone. Jesus tells us to let our like shine. That’s not for our own benefit but for His glory because we’re to be pointing people to Him..

Shine brightly this week. Give a smile to those around you. Say a kind word to someone - you never know how badly they may need it!

In the World of Emojis

Photo by Fausto Ggarcia

Photo by Fausto Ggarcia

Don’t you love using these cute emojis in your texts and on social media? I have to admit, it is kind of fun and it certainly helps show the tone of a written comment.

Let me give you a little background on me and the world to emojis. Phones were used to call people; they were hard wired into your home and you had to select each number via a rotary dial on the phone provided other people were'n’t already talking on the phone when you picked up (yep, party line). Am I dating myself, yet?

The first mobile phone I had was a bag phone. It was huge and sat in a weighted bag on the floor of the car. You could only talk on it and you tried to avoid that due to the cost of using it. Then small hand-held cell phones came out and you could talk and text but roaming charges would eat you up, if you weren’t careful. I chose to talk, not text, because you had to hit a number multiple times and then the next and it took forever to text one word let alone a conversation.

While everyone was getting used to the small cell phones, I got a palm pilot! Whoa! You could take notes, utilize your calendar, use a calculator and talk and text! But be ware, pocket dialing was for certain. Who knows how many people heard me screaming out songs on the radio that were way above my alto range?! Of course, I never heard them shouting my name trying to get me to hang up!

By this time, my kids were in the cell phone mix and would often text me. After just a couple back and forth texts, they would ask, “Are you mad?” My answer would be in a phone call or a “no” or "no, but I’m about to”. After months or maybe years, my youngest child started asking me to use Emojis when I text so people could see that I wasn’t mad when I replied to them. I guess, when texts are short and to the point people assume you are angry, not that you don’t like (or know how) to text. So then, every text ended with a smiley face.

As you know, now there are so many emojis you can just about write out an entire thought in them. And they are used everywhere - on the phone, in social media and sometimes emails.

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23 (ESV)

Yes, we now live in a world of Emojis. We can present ourselves in any light we so choose with them. But behind the mask…who are you?

Are you experiencing life - life to the full? If you know me, you know I love to laugh and to make others laugh. After all, laughter is good medicine! This week as you text or get on social media and use those cute emojis, remember there’s only One Way to live life to the full and that, my friend, is in the salvation of Jesus Christ!

…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

Jesus came so we can have life and have it to the full. Trust in Him. Rest in Him. Let those smiley faces and winks show forth in the true joy of His salvation in you!

Love on Valentine's Day

Photo by Jesse Goll

Photo by Jesse Goll

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard how Valentine’s Day started, but one on the things I read was that Valentine’s Day is a memorial of someone who was martyred for their love for another. That’s the really short version.

Well, that being said, Jesus laid down His life for those He loves. I can’t help but think of my Savior when I think of Valentine’s Day. Maybe you spent the day or part of the day with your sweetheart. Maybe you had other thoughts and feelings running rampant yesterday.

The Bible teaches us that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

If you want to know love, you must know Jesus. He is love. He proved His love for us!

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

Romans 5:8

Oh I know some people just think of Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark occasion, but is that really what love is? Love is an action; it’s a commitment. It’s unconditional. Do we really love like that? God does! He proved it by sending Jesus, His Son, to die for you and me when we could’ve cared less about Him.

Today, the day after Valentine’s Day, take a minute and think of the ONE who loves you more than you can fathom and revel in the fact that Jesus Loves You! He is ever faithful. He will never leave you. He loves you more than anyone!

Whether you received roses or chocolate (or a new set of dishes), celebrate the ONE who pledged His love for you with arms wide open.

May today and everyday be a day of celebration of LOVE… the love we receive from our Savior, Jesus, and the love we give to Him.