A Lesson in Contentment

A few weeks back, I enjoyed spending time with my niece and nephews. They taught me several things:

  1. Sugar rushes are real. When you mix a nine-year-old and a Boston Creme donut, you get off-the-wall energy and contagious laughter.
  2. With a little imagination, you can reinvent board games so that any age can play.
  3. If there are two boys and one has the toy helicopter, the other will want it too—even if he has a whole box of LEGO® blocks. The toy itself isn’t the issue. The fact that the other one has it is.

The truth is that we all tend to want what we don’t have. Maybe we’ve graduated from coveting toy helicopters, but we fall short in many other ways.

  • Why can’t I be more musical like Sarah?
  • I wish I had Pete’s athletic skills.
  • If I could only be smart like Claire, I wouldn’t have to do summer school.
  • I wish I were taller, thinner, prettier, etc.

I imagine that some days, God sees us and wants to shout, Cut it out! 

Stop fighting. Stop envying. Be content. I gave each of you good gifts, so instead of wanting the ones you don’t have, start using the ones you do.

A Special Skill Set

In I Corinthians 12, Paul reminds his readers that the Holy Spirit has equipped each believer with his own skill set. The purpose is not so that we can glory in our gifts, but rather so that we can better serve each another.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (I Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)

Paul underscores this point by using the body and its parts as a metaphor. What if the ear wished it were an eye, or the hand wished it were a foot? Ridiculous, of course! Yet how ridiculous are we when wish to trade places with Justin, Katie, or Sam?

Never Say Can’t

But, Kristen, I really want to make the team this year. I’m just not as good as my peers. Are you saying I shouldn’t even try?

That’s not what I’m saying at all. Maybe you’re not as naturally athletic as someone else, but if you have a desire to play, go for it. Even if you don’t think you’ll make the team, you ought to try.

Why? Because God uses things we’re not good at to keep us humble, to make us depend on Him more, and to prove that we can do things beyond our natural capabilities in His strength.

There’s a fine line between coveting another’s talents and growing your own.

Here’s my practical, though imperfect, measuring tool:

  1. Thank God for the gifts and talents He’s given you.
  2. Recognize and praise the gifts and talents He’s given others.
  3. Attempt the desires He’s placed on your heart.
  4. Regardless of the outcome, praise Him.
  5. Celebrate others’ successes. One day, if God wills, your turn will come.

The moral I have learned is this: Don’t fight over your gifts. You’ll enjoy life more when you share them with others.

How has God uniquely gifted you for a specific task or job? What is one thing you can do this week to share the talents He’s given you with someone else? 

~ Kristen

If you didn’t have the chance last week to enter the book giveaway for Little’s Know What You Believe, I’m extending the deadline through Sunday. To enter, simply leave a comment below, or subscribe to my newsletter.

Tweetables

A Lesson in Contentment – Such Things as We Have- @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

There’s a fine line between coveting another’s talents and growing your own. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Book Giveaway – a classic that will strengthen your faith – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “A Lesson in Contentment

  1. Book giveaway. Can’t say no to that!!

    And this is true. We always want what we don’t have. Doesn’t mean we can’t have it but it’s just living in the moment that makes us realize we want something when in reality we can have it if we work towards it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great measuring tool, Kristen! Thank you.

    Galatians 6:4 (NLT) says, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

    Liked by 1 person

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