Being Content

November 14, 1997
by Bruce M. Dinsmore

Philippians 4:11-12 – For I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. 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.

I was recently reading a local sports columnist. He tells the sad story of Corey Hirsch. Corey lost out on a goalie job with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League. He was demoted to a minor league team, and told to report to Syracuse, New York, in the American Hockey League. He wouldn't go. He was holding out for a job in the major leagues. He wouldn't play for $11,000 a game. That's $100,000 a month.

Every one of us wants to earn as much as we can. I don't know anyone who would turn down a raise. Yet, when the subject of what big-league athletes make comes up, I see a lot of head-scratching. "Out of touch" and "Overpaid cry-babies" are what I hear in the cafeteria. For $11,000 a game, you can even shoot rock hard hockey pucks at me. Maybe it's a principle with him that he can play in the National Hockey League, but for that kind of money, I'd play anywhere.

You just might be able to sum this up in one little word: greed.

The apostle Paul wrote: "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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." (Philippians 4:11-12). Paul amplifies the thought: "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1 Timothy 6:8)

North American culture says, whatever we've got, that's not good enough. We're told "more" and "bigger" without end. This is never easier to see than the Christmas season, not too far away.

Contentment seems to be a word that's vanished out of our culture. Paul says he has learned the secret of contentment. In our society, it needs to be a secret no longer.

Prayer: Lord God, Help us learn the secret of contentment. Teach us when we have enough, for many have far too much, and many more of your children have nothing. Help us know that true contentment is to be found in fellowship with You. Amen.

About the author:

Bruce M. Dinsmore <dinsmore@pathcom.com>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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