been thinking on this for so long... it's not exactly a natural thing. and i've been so spurred on lately about learning this good thing. contentment. my discontent came to light via social media. i use to think my war with social media was that social media was the problem, but really its an issue with me and my lack of contentment.
social media, can sometimes be treated like our treasure. i've been wrestling with this for the better half of the last year or so. it's so easy to get caught up in unnecessary things; like 'likes', or feeling that pressure to ensure everybody knows you're living your 'best life', or struggling to keep up appearances, or not feeling like a moment is real unless its shared for everybody to see, comparing - comparing - comparing and then there is coveting. eeeek. now thats a word that we never hear anymore. but it's a real struggle.
so with all that said, social media isn't the root. we are. and our discontent.
social media isn't where my treasure is found. its not where our treasure should be.
i'm so encouraged by the words of Paul in the bible:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:11-13 ESV
this doesn't just apply to social media, thats just where it fully came to light for me... but this applies to every area of our lives. its encouraging to know that contentment can be learned and it also implies that contentment doesn't come naturally.
unthankfulness is a big root. as Jeremiah Burroughs* says 'what a foolish thing is this, that because i have not got what i want, i will not enjoy the comfort of what i have!'.
i love the thought of 'setting one against the other'. The Bible says in the 7th chapter of Ecclesiastes, the 14th verse, 'in the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.'
Jeremiah Burroughs says 'when you are in prosperity, then indeed every man can be joyful, but what if afflictions befall you, what then? Then consider - consider what? 'that God has made the one as well as the other'; you have a great deal of affliction, and you have a great deal of prosperity, you have many troubles, and you have many mercies: make one column of mercies, and one column of afflictions, and write one against the other, and see if God has not filled one column as full as the other. you look altogether upon your afflictions, but look upon your mercies also.'
lay your discontents against what you do have, and let contentment have victory.
so this is my labour, not to find treasure in things that will perish. 'but rather upon those things that may stir up thankfulness to God for his mercies'. His goodness.