The Lie We Have To Stop Buying
Remember that whack-a-mole arcade game? That’s my mind & it’s struggle with contentment. It took me all of two weeks to convince myself I couldn’t live without a dog after I met my sister’s puppy. As soon as I get settled in our 2 bedroom apartment my close friend tells me she is building her dream house. All of the sudden this apartment is too small and I need a house. Immediately after convincing myself God will open up a door in my career in His perfect time I don’t get the opportunity in my perfect time so I doubt if the dream should be there in the first place. “She’s having a baby, they got engaged, he got moved up, they went to Europe, she got a promotion, they live close to home, he got a puppy, her ring is bigger than mine, he has more money than us…” The list goes on and on…
I’ve noticed there is one factor that dictates my level of contentment: my emptiness. When I have a clean slate for the day and the first thing I do is roll over to scroll through my news feed I am vulnerable. Living in a media driven society leaves me insecure, jealous, and discontent because I don’t have what I want, look like I want, or eat what I should. But hiding from the media isn’t the answer.
When I understand my identity apart from my image, the place I live, the man I married, and the girls who call me their friend nothing can’t dictate who I am. Contentment doesn’t mean not dreaming big, it means nothing is at stake when you do. How do we get to the sacred space where who we are is not dictated by how we measure up? The discontentment creeps in but I can shrug it off faster. Of all the places to learn the lesson of contentment, Paul figures out the secret in prison;
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” // Philippians 4:12 & 13 (NIV).
The God we trust is the secret of contentment. Paul knew God would take care of him no matter what so he could take on any circumstance. I need the secret to contentment everyday. I am tired of being derailed by every cute Instagram, a snap story I am not included in, and a relationship that is stronger than mine.
We were created with an emptiness that can only be satisfied by God. Filling ourselves with likes, people’s opinions, a relationship, exercise, or binging on Netflix will only send us on a wild chase that will never satisfy. The temptation to believe we are not enough will always linger. But like Paul discovered in prison, circumstances will always change. But our hope in Christ, what He thinks about us, and what He did on the cross will give us strength in all circumstances that come our way.