Mark has been preaching through Philippians on Sunday mornings, and recently taught through the end of Philippians where Paul states, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”. Today we are discussing the “rare jewel” of contentment that the Puritan, Jeremiah Burroughs, spoke of in his book.
What are the areas where you struggle with contentment? Are you satisfied with your work, your financial situation, and your family?
Looking back a few verses in Philippians, Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always” and to offer prayers with thanksgiving. This is coming from a man that was imprisoned, beaten, and shipwrecked. If Paul could say that, we must learn that rejoicing and practicing gratefulness are key concepts to living a life of contentment in every circumstance.
What about training our children to be content? This can be a daily struggle for us as parents. Our children can have ungrateful attitudes and they often learn that behavior from us. And our consumer culture only adds to the struggle!
We share some ideas about how to deal with complaining spirits in our children (and in ourselves). Teaching our children delayed gratification by involving them in long-term savings projects, or participating in giving projects, like filling Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, can help teach our children to be content. We discuss a few ideas that we have tried with our children, but we’d love to hear your ideas as well!
Sometimes people take this section of Philippians out of context. What does “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” actually mean? Mark jokes that he can play NBA basketball because Christ will strengthen him. Clearly, this is not what Paul meant!
True contentment comes only through peace with God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross.
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Links and Recommendations:
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – by Jeremiah Burroughs
The Redwoods and the Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – by John Piper
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