Monday, April 14, 2008

Christian Contentment

In reading this month’s 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs, I was struck by a point with regards to The Mystery of Contentment.

Burroughs in Chapter 2- point two: A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction (pg 45) says: “

“That is his way of contentment, and it is a way that the world has no skill in. I open it thus: not so much by adding to what he would have, or to what he has, not by adding more to his condition; but rather by subtracting from his desires, so as to make his desires and his circumstances even and equal.”

How true this is for me. When I become discontent with my circumstances I immediately think of all that that needs to be added to bring contentment but it never does. Rarely if ever do ask myself if I need to change my desires. Burroughs is so right that we need to seek after the heart of God and make sure our desires are aligned with His.

Burroughs quotes another author on page 47 as saying: "The way to be rich is not by increasing wealth, but by diminishing our desires." The issue is that we need to seek after godly contentment and not contentment as defined by the world around us.

This, however, does not mean a Christian will never be discontented as Burroughs touches on in Chapter 2 for the first point (page 42): "It may be said of one who is contented in a Christian way that he is the most contented man in the world, and yet the most unsatisfied man in the world; these two together must needs be mysterious." The point being that while we are content in Christ being in this world should leave us with a manner of discontentment that will only be met when we are spending eternity with God at the time of our final rest.

So let us not allow the world to impose its desires and lead us to a discontentment that is not pleasing to God. But at the same time let us foster an understanding that this is not all there is and thus have a godly discontentment with the world around us. The truth is we are to be content with God but discontented with the world. Our contentment with God is to grow daily as we walk with Him and as we walk with Him in our pilgrimage in the world our discontentment will invariably grow as we long for eternity with Him.

1 comment:

capirani said...

Thanks for having a wholesome, Christian blog. It was nice to have it pop up as I browsed the blogs here instead of the stuff I usually end up finding. I appreciate it.