Day 168 – The Secret of Contentment
On: April 17, 2015   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:22-26

Jesus tells us not to worry about life’s everyday necessities, taking food and clothing as examples. Birds don’t worry about these things and God takes care of them. Won’t He take care of us, we who are made in His image? Is this a charter for a hippy lifestyle, opting out of the modern world with all it’s complexities and demands? Why worry, the rest of God’s Creation doesn’t?

Tempting as this thought is (all aboard a split windscreen VW camper van with surf board atop!), Jesus anchors His comments around the word “life”. If we are to walk in the footsteps of the King, our lives should resemble Jesus’s life, one that was in the world but not of it. Put another way, we need to position ourselves in a place where we are respected by those around us, but not be their imitators.

I couldn’t work in fashion if I turned up looking like Worzel Gummage. And I would miss much opportunity to share with friends and colleagues if I refused to eat anything but dry bread. The key to this, it seems to me, is not that I reject anything but the bare minimum of material things, but that they should take their proper place.

Good clothes can help me to “feel the part” and give others confidence in me. Good food can help me to appreciate the wonderful provision of a generous God. But sometimes a t-shirt and a glass of water can be more appropriate. The apostle Paul, as ever, seems to have got it right: 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. Philippians 4:12.

I finish with a comment from the erstwhile dressmaker to the Queen, Sir Hardy Amies: “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.”

Do not worry about your life what you will eat or about your body what you will wear

Prayer:

Father God, please show me how best to use the material things available to me, that my use of them might build Your Kingdom, and not simply be self indulgence. Amen.

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