As I was reading through James chapter 4 the topic that flashed my mind was, “The art of being Self-content.”
We live in times, where we are given multiple options for every decision we make. One seems better than the other and eventually we are left with a confusion — What do I choose ? Do I choose what I need ? or choose what I want ? or May be, choose both?
Sometimes even if we make a choice, we are not satisfied. We keep searching for more and that opens up a necessity to possess everything we see and opens a way to demand or extort anything we cannot immediately posses.
When Paul writes to the Church at Phillipi . He says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)
The word “content” according to this context means, “a state of greater satisfaction”. So, If I replace the word “content” from that verse and add this sentence, this is how it will be:
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learnt to be in a state of greater satisfaction whatever the circumstances.”
May be if we read this way, it might give a deeper understanding of the situation that Paul was going through. If we were to face the same situation, we will complain, grumble, and ask God questions; Why, Why me ?!.
Paul was an influential man of his times. He could have used his influence to meet his needs. May be if he had sent a word, many would have poured their support to him. But when he had to go through difficult times; he faced, hunger, nakedness and sufferings(2 Corp 11:17), he chose to go through those times believing God is leading him for a greater purpose.
Often times in life, If we will only get what we need; nothing extra or nothing less. Sometimes nothing will work out. In such situation we should be able to rejoice and be happy for what we have and not crib about what we do not have.
When I think of my own life. I have complained about every situation around me. I tried to look for the perfect moment, perfect person, perfect time, perfect thing – everything perfect. And over the years, I’ve learnt nothing is going to be perfect. The more perfection you expect the more disappointed you will be, but if you are satisfied in God’s provisions for you and have the patience to wait on God. He will make all things beautiful more than you can ever imagine.
So, in conclusion, what is the art of being self-content ?
It’s state of a being satisfied in the provisions of God; being dependant on Him and believing that He will make all things beautiful for you.
Paul said, He has learnt to be content in every situation, in other words that means, He had learnt the art of being satisfied in God and not on the circumstances around him.
Likewise, Let us learn to be satisfied in God and not in the situations around us.