Saturday, February 16, 2008

content is as content does

I woke up this morning with a wicked cold. My throat is swelled closed, my stuffed sinuses are giving me a booming headache, I'm achy, and I'm tired. I just got rid of the last one. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I was loaded for bear and ready to tell anyone who asked.

Then I read my morning devotional.

"I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content."—Philippians 4:11

Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: "These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. "Ill weeds grow apace." Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, ... Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature ... Paul says, 'I have learned . . . to be content;' as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content," he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave—a poor prisoner shut up in Nero's dungeon at Rome. ... Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content."

I am always grateful for the wonderful blessings I have. The weather, the nice apartment, the material things that sustain me, my relationship with Jesus, good friends, and a home church. That is extreme wealth in most of the world. Shame on me for forgetting that and for being ready to launch my momentary discontent onto the world.

I don't feel good, it is true. But that's a small thing. I continue to be a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

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