I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content–whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13
Know, when your space is too small for you… you have been birthed to the next level.
Have you ever been in seasons of stretch? Where you find yourself stretching money to last you the entire month, or stretching your last bag of rice or milk for the week? Or what about the opposite, have you ever been in the predicament where you are living comfortably- all your bills are paid, you are out and about, and even blessing others with your finances? I’ve been in both predicaments. And I have learned to accept both extremes. At first it was not easy, I can say I was frustrated and questioning God. Wearing myself out physically and emotionally. The consequences of not being disciplined in contentment is that you lose your peace, your joy and your confidence in God. Sometimes this happens all together, or individually and progressively. After going through different circumstances testing this area of my life, I recognized that I complained a lot and it was adding to my emotional bitterness towards God and people.
I have learned that we need God’s strength in good times and bad times. When I was in a good season, I would buy gifts for my loved ones, treat some to lunch and spent money recklessly. Did not save for a rainy day, needing God’s wisdom to enjoy the abundance intelligently. Paul, the apostle, makes it clear that Christian life (in ministry) will include having both need and abundance. Paul, I believe mentions this to us, so that we can learn to be content. Content is not a feeling, it’s a decision. We have choices, I know I always talk about choices and self control. We choose to be happy, we choose to be positive, we choose to be faithful and we choose to have faith. Contentment and gratitude are learned skills; daily exercises for our mind. We can learn this SKILL, only through serving God, in trying times and also the good times. Practicing contentment helps us in our relationships with God, and with each other.
Abundance is not always about having money or houses; abundance can be anything from having rich relationships, a lot of influence or a lot of open doors. Sometimes it may be a better standard of living, a better job or more education. With Paul, I believe his challenge in the context he speaks of lacking money and food; meanwhile in abundance he referred to housing, food and traveling expenses. Imagine you have all you desire: spouse, children, a home, rent and bills paid, ability to travel the world- yet you hate your life and complain about the kids, about working, about your spouse? Would your attitude tell anyone that you are grateful? It’s obvious you are not content.
Lord God almighty, thank you for this teaching and always reminding us that we are in charge of our attitudes and thoughts. Help us each day to give you and the world our best attitude, until it becomes permanent. help our hearts to see the beauty in pain, and the strength in struggle and the wisdom in abundance. Let us not divert from your path, or presence. In Jesus name, Amen.