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Contentment is a most enjoyable space.

A Framework for Faith/Spiritual Practice

How over-blessed is he for whom moderate needs suffice,/So that by an equitable rule he restrains the care of his body.

  - Columbanus, To Sethus (Irish, 7th century)

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

  - 1 Timothy 6.9

Contentment is a most enjoyable space, but so elusive.

Everything about our age militates against contentment. Advertising, cheap credit, the multiplicity of choices and options, changing fashions and styles and models, even the lifestyles of friends and colleagues - all these can foster a sense of discontent and the feeling that we just need something different or more.

The affection of discontent can be dangerous. It is the calling card of covetousness, greed, lust, and idolatry. We will never be content feeling discontented, and we'll always look for some way to relieve that disquieting affection - usually by feeding it with some new experience or thing.

Paul counseled contentment with food and clothing alone, and Columbanus would have agreed. It's not that possessions are bad; God does not begrudge us nice things. Things aren't the problem. We're the problem. Many of us continue to pin our hopes and joys to things, which can never satisfy, and so must always leave us feeling discontented.

Until we learn to be content in the Lord we'll always seek to gin up that elusive feeling with lesser things. Paul and Columbanus were content with almost nothing because they knew to delight in the Lord and to find their true joy and pleasure in Him (Ps. 16.11).

This is not just "theological talk." It's real. It's our great privilege and hope to enter into the glory of God, here and now, and to know the presence of the living Christ with us always, to the end of the age. He keeps and guards us, provides for all our needs, intercedes for us with the Father, and grows us in His grace and truth, so that we can show Him to the world.

Jesus gives us contentment things and experiences could never provide.

If we would be truly content, we must learn contentment in Jesus. Such contentment begins in prayer, is fueled by reading and meditation in God's Word, and is sustained by thanksgiving and obedience.

Master those skills, and engage them continuously, and you will learn true and lasting contentment.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

ReVision - Utilitarianism in Cajun country. Thank God for neighbor love.

In the Gates - How does the Law of God address the needs of our mind? Check us out all this week.

The Pastor's Fellowship - Paul commands pastors to maintain a careful self-watch. So how's that workin' out for you? Join us next week to discuss the pastor's self-watch and how you can practice this.

Mentoring - We have some openings for mentoring in spiritual life, evangelism, preaching, and shepherding at this time. Write me for more information or to set up a time to chat.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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