While it is the human nature to look and strive and keep aspiring for something or the other in continuum, we as Christians might find it difficult to actually draw the line (in a Christian way, of course) of where exactly to stop. So how do we draw this line or identify that thin line of separation between contentment and competent. To identify this, we need to explore further into what we actually long for.
Generally we all long for more money, fantastic career, fancy cars and electronic gadgets, right relationships, perfect looking skin (I mean men too!) and societal power.
Isn’t it strange that we more than happily agree to buy a book or a video CD on ‘How to be Creative, Confident, and Competent’ to help us experience what ought to come naturally? We are ready to oblige and nod to the conclusions of the author whom we have not known or shaken hands with or even laid our eyes upon. Aren’t we overlooking the theme of ‘contentment’? Now, you might say, “Not when we’ve been programmed to compete, achieve, increase, fight, and worry our way up the so-called “ladder of success” (which few can even define).
Face it. You and I are afraid that if we open the door of contentment, two uninvited guests will rush in: loss of prestige and complacence. We really believe that “getting to the top” is worth any sacrifice.
A teacher who is competent, contented, and fulfilled in the classroom is frowned upon if she turns down an offer to become a principal. A man or woman who serves as an assistant or in any kind of support position in a ministry, company, or the military frequently wrestles with feelings of discontentment until he or she is promoted to the so-called “top rung.”
Paul says, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”
Now, is it wrong to be rich or powerful or beautiful?
It is not wrong!
The problem crops in, when we shift our focus from being excellent to glorify God, to becoming greedy, which allows one to possess wealth and goods and the ways include subjugating others to obtain it. The intention and deeds are entirely focused on obtaining goods and there is no involvement of God anymore.
That’s when we need to stop and think. God blesses us with what we need. He wants us to be excellent, stand out, to be strong and courageous, exert dominion over all things and glorify His matchless name. In the process of which, some of us tend to side track and starve the spirit. There is the caution line. Watch out!
“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasure” – Job 36: 11
This is not easy to implement. We will be out-numbered, out-voted and we will have to fight our urge to conform to the world but it is a learning process. It is not enjoyable until we are convinced that we are listening to the right drummer and when we are, our strings are cut and we are free.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.