Contentment

by Larry Hehn on August 14, 2011

contentmentEvery Sunday in August, September and October I’ll be tweaking and sharing some of my favorite blog posts from the early days of Christian in the Rough – when the proverbial trees were falling in the forest but there was no one around to hear them.

It’s my pleasure to share them here again…for the first time.

I never used to like the word “content”. To me contentment was another word for laziness or resignation, an easy way out for those who were tired or afraid of striving for something more. Contentment was the enemy of progress; it was something to be avoided at all costs.

Today I see contentment differently.

I have impaired hearing in my left ear. Without my new hearing aid, conversations are distorted and difficult to follow. Would I want to have full hearing in both ears? Of course I would. But I am learning to be content with my imperfect ears. Some people don’t have any hearing at all.

I have two large scars along my sides and back from kidney surgery I had as a child. I’m used to the scars and rarely think about them, but I’m sure they aren’t visually appealing. Would I prefer to have a scar-free body? Yes, but I’m learning to be content with my scars and repaired kidneys. I was there as my best man’s sister passed away in her teens waiting for a kidney transplant.

My wife and I have marriage problems. (Helpful hint: If you are married, so do you.) Still, I am learning to be content with my imperfect marriage. My wife is an incredible blessing; not many people would be willing to put up with me on a daily basis.

I am learning to be content with my imperfect career. Many are unemployed.

I am learning to be content with my imperfect health. Many are terminally ill.

I am learning to be content with my imperfect home. Many are homeless.

I am learning to be content with the many blessings that God has showered on me that I truly don’t deserve. With all that I have received, do I really have a right to complain?

…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12

What imperfect aspects of your life could you learn to be content with?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

dan mcm August 14, 2011 at 3:37 am

I can relate. For me, the struggle with being content has typically been rooted in feeling inadequate, as though whatever I was doing was never good enough. I’m not a super ambitious guy, so it’s not like I set really high expectation and don’t meet them. Even in the everyday stuff, when I do well, I still get the nagging feeling that it wasn’t good enough – that I’m falling short.

I am more content than I used to be, but I still tend to get that nagging feeling. Somewhere along the line, it started to sink in that God isn’t expecting us to carry the weight of the world along with Him — He’s carrying the weight and letting us pretend we’re helping! One of the verses that really helped me in this regard was Micah 6:8 – “He’s shown you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of thee? To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”

When I remember that, that’s when I find contentment…..
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Larry Hehn August 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

That’s a great verse. Thanks, Dan!

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Juan Cruz Jr August 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

Larry every day I wake up with ” This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24. This allows me to be content with many of things that you mentioned. Before I used to not be content because I wanted more money, or a better job, or many of the “more” things in life. But I thank God for all the blessings he has given me: my wife, my children, my job, my health. I am content with what I have because I know that I am right where the Lord wants me. God Bless.
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Larry Hehn August 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Another great verse. Thanks, Juan!

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Hi, I'm Natalie. August 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I’m workin’ on it. ;>)

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Larry Hehn August 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Keep plugging away, Natalie!

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Clay Morgan August 15, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Great reminder Larry. There’s a lot going on in a word like contentment and I don’t think about it as much as I should.
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Larry Hehn August 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

Thanks, Clay. I love your tattoos, by the way!

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