Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Contentment

It’s quite interesting, as well as refreshing, how the Holy Spirit intervenes seemingly under even the most trivial of circumstances. I was having a little trouble deciding what to write about when I remembered Christ is interested in every aspect of my life. Once in a while I find myself becoming a bit too complacent, when walking with the Lord, that I sometimes forget He has all of the answers. I made a simple plea for some clarification, during my evening prayers, as to what topic I should be entertaining. The very next morning, while continuing a Bible study I had started in January, I came across 1st Timothy 6:6-8.

The Apostle Paul said, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” Previously, I had considered offering my thoughts on contentment; however, I had just come up with a clever title pertaining to a different subject altogether, so I figured that ship had already sailed. Obviously, I was wrong. Immediately after reading those verses I no longer had any doubt as to what I was suppose to be writing about at this time. I cannot (and will not) dismiss the Holy Spirit’s intervention as merely a coincidence.

Google defines contentment as “a state of happiness and satisfaction.” I prefer Wikipedia’s definition which states, “Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.” How many people do we know who have the aforementioned abundant supply of food and clothing, as well as many other things, yet they are still discontented? It’s fairly difficult though to rebuke those who are not content since our country actually promotes this type of behavior. We are encouraged to buy into the notion that we must constantly strive to advance in our careers, upgrade to larger homes and more expensive vehicles, and be the first in line when the newest technological device hits the shelves.

What it really boils down to, in today’s society, is we have a misguided admiration of the almighty dollar. The noticeable differences between the haves and have-nots are what tends to divide us as a nation. We are erroneously separated into categories based on our financial status; however, the Bible warns us (again in 1st Timothy) that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” I’m not contending there’s anything wrong with ambition, and I’m certainly not implying there aren’t any fulfilled have-nots living amongst us. In fact, I would venture to say there are probably more individuals with much less money, than those with beaucoup bucks, who are content with their lives. The problem with making accumulating wealth a priority, and striving to obtain more possessions, is that inevitably it becomes a vicious cycle, so there’s rarely a chance of achieving any sort of lasting satisfaction. How much would be enough?

Not so long ago my father was asked what was on his “bucket list.” After pondering the question, for a quick moment, he unexpectedly replied, “Nothing.” My father was born of modest means, did not attend college, and was the sole breadwinner for his family of six. Looking in from the outside it appears as though he hasn’t had too much excitement in his life. He’s rarely traveled, has never been on a cruise, had never purchased a new vehicle until recently, and my father doesn’t even own a computer, yet he is content. He explained how important raising a family had been to him, how he couldn’t think of anything he desired to do (even if money was no object), and how even if he could he still wouldn’t change a thing.

I consider myself content as well although I have many things on my bucket list. I’d like to travel more especially outside of the United States. I also wish to one day partake in bungee jumping, go whitewater rafting, and possibly run a half marathon. Attempting to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) would just be silly. I’ve already tried my hand at waterskiing, snorkeling, and parasailing – and I really don’t even know how to swim. I went skydiving several years ago as well. Some folks think it’s ridiculous to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but I highly recommend the exhilarating feat.

For me, skydiving on November 26th, 2001, was somewhat of a religious awakening. I would think it’s nearly impossible to fall from the heavens, at 13,000 feet, without considering one’s mortality. I even pondered what could possibly go awry before boarding the compact aircraft; hence, the reason why I quickly penned a short letter to my lovely wife before takeoff. I reminded the missus how much she and our son meant to me, and I apologized for the times, during our then 18 years together, when I wasn’t the perfect mate she deserved. I reckon I was yearning for complete contentment “just in case.” I asked my bride not to read the note unless something went amiss up in the blue sky. Of course, anyone who knows my wife most-likely has already guessed she read my heartfelt words before I even got on the plane.

On this earth we are “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). We are here experiencing the lower story (life’s fleeting moment) although the upper story (God’s divine plan) is the only thing that truly matters in the end. Ultimate contentment is surrendering all things to Christ. It is realizing your soul is your greatest asset. Assuredly, I am not against earning a good living, climbing up the company ladder, or having a bucket list as long as those desires are secondary. It’s not important that I once went skydiving, and I’m not too concerned whether or not I’ll have the opportunity to someday experience any of the other adventurous activities on my bucket list. Regardless, I’m content.

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God

They say you should never talk about politics or religion if you aim to keep your friends, or in my case readers, but I have never been one to really care what others think of me, so why start now. I’ve already scratched the political surface with my previous writings and have even touched on religion a bit, but as I was worshipping at Copper Hills Church this past weekend I was suddenly and overwhelmingly compelled by the Holy Spirit to share with you my thoughts on God. As I began seriously considering what needed to be said I couldn’t help but rethink the situation, and I started searching for reasons not to discuss this subject. That is what sometimes happens when the human flesh battles with the Spirit. Sitting in my usual spot (the comfy chair by the windows) at Starbucks, where I do most of my writing, I continued thinking about other possible topics to pursue, but the voice of the Holy Spirit is not easy to dismiss nor should it be. That being said, I am still struggling some with the subject matter since there is so much I could say, yet I feel a heavy sense of responsibility for conveying it in a complete and accurate way.

Therefore, the following is not me speaking on behalf of all Christians, but it is simply the truth as I know it. I also know that being prompted to write this at this time, with Easter upon us, is not just a coincidence. I have never been a big fan of the Easter Bunny, but I have enjoyed coloring eggs and participating in Easter egg hunts in the past. The reason I celebrate Easter though is because it is a special time for me to acknowledge that God’s only Son, Jesus, rose from the grave. He did so after suffering a painful and brutal death on an old wooden cross; therefore, conquering death for everyone who truly believes in Him. Jesus Christ was a spotless (sin-free) man, yet he willingly and humbly paid the ultimate price for each and every one of our sins. The sacrifice he had to endure seems very unfair, and it was, but fairness died in the Garden of Eden when man chose to disobey God, so now all believers and non-believers alike lead imperfect lives and experience unfairness while on this earth.

Although the sun shines and the rain falls, on both those who believe and those who don’t, believers are no longer enslaved to sin whereas non-believers still are. The only way out of enslavement is to acknowledge the one and only God, believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and then accept Him into your life. That is precisely when the Holy Spirit begins to dwell inside of you and the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him is given. Please be advised though that you’re not immune to sin after becoming a believer. Bad stuff still happens, and life remains unfair, but now you have your Savior walking by your side at all times. That’s the Good News! I cannot imagine dealing with the perils of everyday life such as losing a job, family issues, health issues, or even death and tragedies like 911 without having God in my corner.

Every Christian has their own story as to what brought them to the realization they needed God and to that certain point in their lives when they finally made the decision to follow Him. On the testimonial scale of 1-10, ten being the most earth-shattering, mine is maybe a two. I am almost envious of the numerous powerful testimonies I have heard over the years of people overcoming addictions, abusive backgrounds, and rotten childhoods with the much needed help of Christ. On second thought, maybe I’m actually more thankful I did not have to endure anything like that to lead me to Him. I was raised in a Christian home, so I knew the truth at an early age, and at some point I made the most important decision I will ever make of accepting Jesus into my life. As a Christ follower I am not perfect and still have many faults, please don’t tell my wife, and I would be a bit leery of any Christian who would pretend otherwise.

On that note, I would now like to apologize to any non-believer who is reading this and who has ever encountered a judgmental, arrogant, or hypocritical person that call themselves a Christian. I know it’s not that far fetched because even I encountered some of them at the church I grew up in. I am reminded of an episode of the hit television series, The Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon finds out his very religious single mother is having, in his character’s all too familiar expanded word choice, “coitus.” He is extremely disappointed in his mother’s actions and tells her, “I’ll condemn you internally, while maintaining an outward appearance of acceptance.” Sheldon’s mother responds with the humorous line, “That is very Christian of you.” There are so many things wrong with the aforementioned scenario that I wouldn’t even know how to address it, but I do believe my responsibility as a Christian is to accept others as who they are and allow God to do the judging if and when He sees fit. There is a huge difference between being a Christ follower or just being religious. I once had a keychain that read, “I’m not religious, I just love the Lord,” which I think says it all. Well, I have now blogged about both politics and “religion” at great lengths, and I truly hope the Holy Spirit is pleased. Happy Easter!