Jesus wants us to live a content life found in the salvation of Christ. He doesn’t want us to worry or chase after the things of this world that mean absolutely nothing through the lens of eternity. Psalm 37:3-5 says, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.”
The apostle Paul learned this type of contentment. Paul writes about it in his letter to the Philippian church. This was a church he founded and loved. The people were near and dear to him. His letter of encouragement instructs them to live lives modeled after Jesus Christ. Whether they experienced good times or bad, he wanted them to know that they could have peace and contentment. He explains to them, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:12-13)
But let us not mistake contentment with complacency. Notice the difference between the two:
Contentment – the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind
Complacency – a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation or condition
Complacency is a dangerous thing for Christians because it means that we are stagnating in our walk with Jesus. If we are stagnating, we are not growing. God wants us to grow day by day to become more like Christ. It is a part of our sanctification process which means to be set apart for God’s use or purpose. This lifelong process takes deliberate actions on our part to become free from sin and set apart for God to use. It is not somewhere we arrive – it is the journey we are on until God brings us home.
One of the things that is clear in the Bible is that God does not appreciate those who are complacent. In the book of Revelation, He states to one of His churches, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of My mouth.” (3:15-17)
Yikes! I do not want to be found lukewarm and have God spit me out of His mouth. This means God would reject those who are lukewarm because they have not decided to fully follow or fully reject Christ.
So, friends, let us live a life that is extremely clear – to God and to others around us. Let us soak up the assurance and contentment of a life committed to Jesus, knowing that He has us in the palm of His hand always. Additionally, let us never grow lukewarm in our faith so as to stagnate. We want to be a people who are growing closer and closer to Christ, day by day, until He comes again to take us home.
Sylvia Gaston is Connections Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at email@example.com or 559-582-1528.