The Cussword Called Contentment

The Cussword Called Contentment

I am running into women who think contentment is almost a cussword and a deterrent to dreams and goals. That’s not true. God DOES teach us to be content with what He has provided, whether that is little or much, and learning to be content in little means learning how to unprogram yourself from societal influences claiming your little is not enough. But if your little happens to cover the basic needs for survival AND you have extra show up??? Scripture says to give your second coat to him who has none!

He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Luke 3:11 (KJV)

This is generousity! Some call it “giving out of your lack”, but when your basic needs are covered, there is no lack in God’s eyes. I have sat in silent shock and amazement listening to youth from middle to upper class homes come home from missions trips building homes for the poor in Mexico with our church youthgroup, absolutely dumbfounded at how happy and generous those folk are in their seeming “poverty”. 1st world culture has such a hugely-skewed concept of poverty it blows my mind. [bctt tweet=”As long as you have shelter, food, clothing, and a means of getting from point A to point B, you have the basics covered.” username=”songdovemd”]Everything else is a gift to be shared with others. We are taught in Scripture that we are blessed to be blessings to others, conduits of God’s blessing to someone else.

The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
Proverbs 11:25-26 (KJV)

This is hard to do when you think your basics are somehow leaving you in lack. When we learn to be content with the survival basics and can find contentment and joy in not being tied down to material maintenance, when God brings more than our basics along, we can cheerfully bless others with it without a second thought. Why? Because our needs are covered. I live this on the daily. I taught my kids to live this. I can teach others how to live this. There is so much more freedom to be found in generous living when you learn how little you actually need to live on yourself. It is much easier to give your second coat away when you have one already yourself.

Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work. As it is written, “He scatters everywhere and gives to the poor; his righteousness lasts forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread to eat will also supply you with seed and multiply it and enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will produce thanksgiving to God because of us. For this ministry you render is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but it is also overflowing with more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (ISV)

Notice how in this verse, the overflow is in thanksgiving to God.  So many in 1st world culture misinterpret this to overflow into their daily lives and homes, but this is an overflow of gratitude toward God for being the Provider of these blessings you are passing on to others.  Remember, the harvest of your righteousness is in heaven, not here on earth.

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Psalms 112:1-10 (KJV)

 

Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Proverbs 11:4 (KJV)

 

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
Proverbs 16:8 (KJV)

 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

 

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:25-34

Pumpkin
Pumpkin puree provision in 2017

My financial struggles relate to a debt load my health got in the way of that has impacted my ability to earn a decent income by traditional means. Does that mean God has stopped meeting my basic needs??? Far from it! Our basic needs continue to be covered and at times, beyond what our immediate needs are and we give stuff or food away darn near monthly at least. But others look at me saying I’m living from a place of lack because I don’t have the spare cash to throw hither and yon at every “investment” opportunity I should be taking advantage of in their opinion. This weighs on a person after awhile and its easy to slip into feeling sorry for myself on occasion and then I remember. . . I remember that God continues to meet our needs. Not our wants. Not others’ opinions of what they think we need, but our actual needs. God is good. All the time. And because our basic needs are being met, we can turn around and bless others. Is that being done with money? No. Most of the time it isn’t. But that’s because half our needs are not covered with money.

When you are able to be thankful for your basic needs being covered, when you are able to bless others when you receive blessings over and above your basic needs, it is far easier to be content with what you have and the place and circumstance you are in. You are able to grow from that place far easier and in a far better frame of mind than from a place of feeling hard done by or perceived lack. God says in Him we lack no good thing. Provision for life is “a good thing”.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Psalms 34:8-10 (KJV)

So if you have food, clothing, shelter, and footwear/transportation, you have “a good thing” and should not perceive yourself to be living from a place of lack. [bctt tweet=”Lack is not having shelter, not having food, not having clothing, not having a way to get around. THAT is poverty.” username=”songdovemd”]

Learn the bare basic needs of your particular home situation. Cut away what society and other people claim is necessary and narrow down to what you could live on/with for 3 weeks out camping. Those are your bare basics. That’s all you need to ensure your basic needs are covered day in and day out. Now look at everything else you have. Is it there purely for your own enjoyment or can you bless someone else with it? The more you bless others, the more God blesses you UNLESS God’s increased blessing is the primary reason you are giving out. . . God stops blessing when that is all we are seeking. He wants us looking to His Face, not His Hand. We are to bless others with NO THOUGHT of getting anything in return.

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Luke 6:32-36 (KJV)

 

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Luke 14:13-14 (KJV)

 

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:1-4 (KJV)

Let’s return our understanding of provision back to the basics, and learn to be content. So much grows from that space.

Now I rejoice in the Lord greatly, because once again you have shown your concern for me. Of course, you were concerned for me but you did not have an opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in any need, for I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in. I know how to be humble, and I know how to prosper. In each and every situation I have learned the secret of being full and of going hungry, of having too much and of having too little. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, it was kind of you to share my troubles.
Philippians 4:10-14 (ISV)

 

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.
Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV verses selected for emphasis)

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