Reflections and Poetry

Contentment – A Trap: a reflection

In all circumstances, be content: a reflection

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Paul wrote from prison when he wrote those words. And of course the Holy Spirit inspired him.

There are all kinds of prisons.  Contentment of the flesh can be one. Remember the rich young ruler who was sad to learn that to inherit eternal life he would have to give up his wealth? (Mark 10:17)

In the nation of the UK where I live, we have been in some state of lockdown for 10 weeks. Around Europe and various other parts of the world, lockdown has become a way of life. I have not found this difficult myself, because I have a garden and because the UK, for the most part, is a gentle authority when it comes to law and order (even in its strictest lockdown, daily outdoor exercise has been encouraged). It took a week and a half of suggestions and gentle prompts before the government finally issued the direct “instruction” to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary to go out. This was made law but was expressed as an instruction and eased in over a week and a half of hints, cajoles, and persuasive words.

But I digress…. because what I want to address is my contentment being a trap. I have been content — in a comfortable home, with modest financial security, and faith that assures me that GOD is in control.

BUT this in itself can be a trap that prevents me from being and doing all GOD has created me to do.

So I’ve been asking Him for more… more responsibility, more boldness, more courage to follow my heart’s desire to make a concrete difference in the way this world is operating…. in some way, some small way, I aspire to make a difference to people who need and want rescue — spiritually and physically. I have a heart for the homeless and for those addicted to drugs.

Yes, I’ve been writing for years, as GOD’s instruction has led me to do. But I don’t know how effective I’ve been. And I withdrew from social media advertising some months ago because it ate at my time and seemed to evoke relatively little response. Has what I have posted brought glory to GOD or helped others in any significant way?

I love people… it has been a long road to travel to care: I’ve grown from being a bullied child realising the unkindness of humanity to a woman keen to help those in need but cocooned in my own safe circumstances.

So, I am content but find myself now discontented with my contentment and I wish GOD to push me out. Perhaps I am simply ungrateful. Or perhaps the LORD is prompting me to give more to the lost. Oh, I hope so!

How has lockdown effected your state of faith and your state of mind?

How have your aspirations changed or your heart been moved in recent months?

A simple but earnest prayer

Come, Holy Spirit, fill us all with more… more grace, more motivation, more clarity, and more of your presence, that we might be as useful and active as the early church who ministered, shared, and grew in number exponentially, to Your glory and purposes. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.