A Path To Contentment

 

I subscribe to Proverbs 31 daily motivation to my email.  I also have it listed as an RSS feed on my sidebar, but when I read today’s message I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to post it.  The scripture verse is SO POWERFUL, it spoke right to me.  I don’t wish I was with someone else, at least I haven’t for a very long time.  (I have to be honest, there was a time when I wished my husband was more than he is and I wondered if I truly loved him.  Several years ago I came to the understanding that I truly love him and he is all I will ever need, a wonderful father, friend and partner and I was blessed the day he married me), but I have spent plenty of days wondering what my life would be like if I were different.  What if I didn’t move to NJ to live with my dad, what if I were thinner throughout high school, what if I were thinner throughout my 20’s, what if I didn’t start having kids so young, what if I joined the Air Force when I had the chance, or went to college, what if I didn’t get sick and lose my job 3 years ago…  What a comfort this scripture is and how awesome is God’s tiiming that He would have me read it at a time when I am questioning myself and what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

jesus Thank you Lord for never taking Your eyes off me and for keeping me in Your thoughts always.

October 8, 2007

A Path to Contentment

By Marybeth Whalen

 “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are is God’s place for you.  Live and obey and love and believe right there.  God, not your marital status, defines your life.” I Corinthians 7:17 (MSG)

Devotion:

I have heard it said that comparison is the death of contentment, and truer words were never spoken.  As I read this verse, I was struck by what Paul was saying.  His words took me back to a place in my life when I was discontent with my marriage, my home, my children, and my life.  I looked around me for answers and compared my situation to others.  The trouble was I had limited information as to what was really going on in other people’s lives.  I could only see what they wanted me to see, what they chose to reveal. 

This habit of comparison led me to dissatisfaction with my husband.  If only he were more godly.  If only he were more attentive.  If only he made more money.  If only he understood me better.  If only he were like so and so’s husband, then… This vicious cycle continued for many years, diminishing my husband in my eyes, and defeating our marriage from the outside in.  Unless something changed, we were doomed to join the statistics. 

It was the Truth in this verse that led me to stop the madness.  Instead of focusing on other people, I focused on my husband.  Instead of wishing away what God had given me, I started counting my blessings.  Instead of wanting what I didn’t have, I worked at wanting what I had already been given.  This external shift in perspective resulted in an internal heart change.  Over time, I learned to live out the Truth in this verse. 

If you break the verse down, you find three parts. 

One: Don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else.  This statement is true for both spouses, and reflects an attitude that is rampant in the culture.  Be careful of the times you say to yourself, “If only…” Those statements lead down a dangerous road. 

Two: Where you are is God’s place for you.  For reasons you may not understand, God has allowed you to be in the place you are in.  Instead of spending time wishing it away, spend time seeking God to determine His purposes for you.  Use this as an opportunity for spiritual growth.  This is true for singles as well as married couples.

Three: God defines your life.  Don’t let your spouse, position, address, income, or anything else define you.  If you have been guilty of letting these things define you, ask for His forgiveness and take steps to break free from these attitudes today.  Spend some time letting the God of the Universe tell you who you are and what He sees in you.  Don’t look to your spouse, your friends, your coworkers, neighbors or family members for these answers. 

These three steps will lead you down a new path.  This path leads to hope and contentment, freedom and abundance. 

Dear Lord, Please tell me who I am in You.  Help me to seek your answers and not look to other people’s situations as a solution.  Help me find the path You have carved out for me so I can live the life of freedom and abundance You have uniquely planned for me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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