17 March 2014
There is a difference between being content, and not having the drive and motivation to do better. Similarly there is a difference between being confident in God and secure in our identity in Jesus, and being complacent over spiritual matters.
Feeling content requires a sense of gratitude. In our daily life, we can be grateful for many things, from the rain stopping just before we go out, catching the bus on time, to other much bigger and important events like finding a job, good health and love. Lasting contentment however can and must only be found in Jesus because of what he has done for us and what he has promised us when we put our faith in him. An eternity with God outweighs and out-compensates every trial or misfortune or every blessing that can be experienced here on earth.
We can be content in that sense, but still keep a motivation and drive to do better. Not because we are not happy with where we are, and not because we have not enough or are greedy. But because Scripture asks us to live life well and full:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
When we believe in Jesus, we must also believe that God valued us and that we mattered so much to God that he died for us to bring us back to him. We also trust that God who began the good work us will bring it to completion. But just as God has promised to work in and through us, there is also a requirement for us to respond to his directing in life. If we are complacent and fail to listen, tune our hearts to his voice, sharpen our spiritual eyes and obey his commands, we are purposely or complacently ignoring the path that God has already promised he would reveal for us here on earth. There is often the contention between faith and works. But i like to understand it this way; the promise of life in Christ is that he will never give up on you and will lead you into eternity with him no matter how many mistakes or how long it takes, BUT only so long as i continue to do my part in trying and striving.
Lord Jesus, give me the wisdom to live my life with the contentment which is unchanging and permanent because i am yours and you are mine. Yet i pray that my desire to strive for more and motivation to do better is sustained not by guilt, fear or insecurity, but by the quiet confidence in knowing that you are pleased with every effort i take in building up my life as i walk in your truth and in your will.