Here's the Thing about Being Content

Here's the Thing about Being Content

Contentment is having the strength to live in spite of the circumstances.

Here's the Thing about Being Content
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:9,11-13,18-19,11-13,18-19

I read an article about a month ago on singleness and one young lady's misgivings about the believe forced down our throats that "If you're not content with being single, then God can't bring a man in to your life." Much like the woman who wrote that article, I have come to the realization that I too had fallen into the misguide mentality that I should have it all together before I entered into a serious relationship. I can't say that I don't want to put my best self out there, but I also won't lie and tell you all that I do have all my ducks in a row.

I'll go out on a limb and say that I fully believe that God will bring the right man along in His time and certainly not when I'm entirely perfect. Maybe I'm an idealist, but I have this hair-brained theory that God doesn't expect us to be entirely put together when we meet the person we're to marry. I won't say I've met "the one" for me yet, but I can say with confidence in God's grace that if I already knew him or met him soon, I'd be somewhat ready. Ladies and gentlemen, here's a newsflash! None of us is perfect in any way, shape, or form. I won't say that you should walk through life, single or not, and simply stay the same. Being stagnant is not the same as being content. While perfection is not even an attainable standard, a lack of direction or progress is not desirable.

Is it possible that in our striving for excellence within ourselves we have made quantity overtake quality? Have we begun to measure perfection instead of progress? I find myself in this mentality that if I haven't accomplished certain tasks or acquired particular character traits that I couldn't possibly be ready for a relationship of any kind. I treat this as a game or an assignment, and I must complete certain tasks or fill some kind of mystical progress bar before I can advance to the next level. Maybe this sounds a little extreme. I'd like to think I'm making some sense. Basically, don't treat your single years as a time to accumulate checklists and

I will be honest. I am just fine with being single. I have come to terms with it. I cringe as see those words because that's what every seemingly hopeless single young lady has said to herself, or her friends, or her pastor's wife. We're fine with being single. We're okay with not dating, but are we content with coming home and making a meal for one? Are we okay with seeing engagement after wedding announcement after gender reveal, thinking that the marriage/family train has left the station without us? Are we fine with getting passed over for a date, comforting ourselves or being comforted with something like "There's just not a man who can handle you yet. But God will bring him along soon enough!" No, I'm sorry, but we're not okay and we're not fine, but we can be content. And all the single ladies ask "How?" Rest in that fact that God has something planned for our lives. He sees it all and He always gives His children good things. He isn't waiting on you to get it all together before He can work in your life. We are not so powerful as to stop the hand of God while He is moving to bless us.

I think we confuse contentment with acceptance in this case. We drone on about being single and close our monologue with "just waiting for a Godly man" or "God has it handled" to avoid sounding bitter. Because if you tack on a phrase like that, you most assuredly are content! Nope, this isn't even close. In Philippians 4:12, Paul says: "...every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." You did not see him complaining about being imprisoned and unable to leave his home. Paul was going to tell it like it was and give God the credit for his ability to be content and rest in God's power to provide for his needs. We know verse 14 states: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Paul realized that the point of content is not only accepting his circumstances but also asking for God's help to live in those circumstances for as long as necessary. He found power to be content through the strength Christ gives. Take a moment today and ask God to strengthen you to be content.

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