Three Reasons You Should Not Be Content – by Dr. Anne Bradley
If you are happy with what you have and the way things are, you may not be responding to the call of Scripture. No part of Scripture tells us to sit back and watch life go by. No part of Scripture implies that the status quo of this world is acceptable.
One of my favorite Scripture passages is I Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
We are here for a purpose and our earthly efforts have eternal impact. This is a race. It’s a fight to bring flourishing to a dark world. Our work here is part of God’s redemptive process. It will bear fruit in the new heavens and the new earth.
It’s easy to confuse passivity with contentment, but that would be incorrect. Hugh Whelchel helps us better understand the biblical meaning of contentment:
Paul tells the Philippians that he has learned “the secret” of being content in any and every situation. Paul’s secret is that he is always striving to do what God has called him to do.
We can be content when we know in our heart that at the end of each day, we did all we could do to answer the call God has placed on each of our lives. Contentment comes with knowing that you lived to your potential and harnessed your creativity to be the best that you could be.
With all this in mind, here are three reasons Christians shouldn’t be content with what they have.
We Have Eternal Vision
What we do now matters not just for today, but for eternity, too. When we live in light of eternity, we will live differently because we see life from a different perspective.
We Fight to Win
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians tells us that we fight for an imperishable crown. We don’t strive for salvation, but the contributions we make today are important. We are called to do our best in all things God calls us to pursue. This means offering high quality goods and services that improve the lives of others.
Our Potential Comes from God
Your potential comes from God, who created you with gifts and talents. You have something to offer! You have an eternal legacy to leave through your gifts and talents. These gifts and talents position you to contribute to the flourishing of the world.
The great innovations of the last two centuries – from the assembly line to the polio vaccine to the micro-processor – have all occurred because people were not happy with the way things were. They had a vision for a better way of doing things. This is the call of the cultural mandate, and it applies to our volunteer work, our spiritual lives, and our employment.
Dear God,Thank you for giving me a calling and my work. Remind me that my identity is in you, and not work. And help me rest every week to enjoy you, your creation, those around me, and to reflect how you bless me every day. Amen.
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CLS is working with the Institue for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) to provide thoughtful and inpsiring devotionals to CLS members.
Anne Bradley, PhD, is vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org).
IFWE, www.tifwe.org, is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian research organization committed to promoting biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.
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