Text: Philippians 4:10-13
Some people believe that discontentment has never been a bigger problem, in the history of the world, than it is today. Never before have so many people had so much and yet, want so much more.
Some sociologists are saying that social media is one of the biggest driving causes of discontentment, because what happens is, when we look at other people’s lives on social media, they look perfect, because they’re putting their best image, their filtered image forward.
Pastor Steven Furtick,(Elevation Church) says, “We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels. We feel like losers, because we see the best of their best, and we know the worst of our worst.”
• Maybe you’ve been like this. You’re at home, all by yourself, you see your friend at the gym, and he’s doing selfie muscle pictures whilst you’re single handedly trying to keep MacDonalds and KFC out of bankruptcy yourself. And you’re like, I feel so bad about myself!
• You may remember the advert for ‘Old Spice’ body spray and you were encouraged ‘Look at him, look at me, look at Him now back to me.’ – The man your man could smell like.
Three broad areas of our discontentment
(1) Material and Financial discontentment.
(2) Relational Discontentment – You see the relational intimacy that other people have and you don’t have all that you would want.
(3) Circumstantial Discontentment. – You’re looking at your life, comparing it to someone else’s, and you’re thinking, I wish I was where they are.
The apostle Paul was the master of responding with a Christlike perspective. Philippians 4:10-13
You need to understand that Paul is writing this while in prison, under house arrest, chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day. So, let’s put it this way: He’s not on the beach, drinking his favourite cocktail with an umbrella in it. Life is not great for him at the point he writes this.
Here is the key of being content in every situation. He says, “13 I can do all this through” – whom? “through [Christ] who strengthens me.” “I can do [anything and everything] through [Christ] who gives me strength.”
The key of contentment is not found in what I have or do not have. The key to contentment is found in Christ and Christ alone.
Until Christ is all you have, you’ll never recognise that Christ is all you need. You want to find the power of contentment? You need let everything else be stripped away and then you cling to the Saviour.
Jesus- He is our Rock; He is our Sustainer. He is our Redeemer. He is the peace that covers our minds. He is our assurance. He is everything that we need.
We can search, and search, and search and get all the likes you want, get all the approval from people you want, all the material things you want and know and love as many people as you can find. But until we experience the goodness of Christ, we’ll always be dissatisfied. We will always be longing for something more, because within us is a Christ-shaped void.
We were created for eternity and there is a longing for something more than this world has to offer. Until we let Christ be all that we need, we’ll always battle with the enemy of discontentment and envy will rule in your heart.
Two things that we absolutely and completely need Christ’s strength to do.
1.We will kill comparisons. Through the strength of Christ, we will stop comparing.
2 Corinthians 10:12 Paul He said Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
Andy Stanley says, “There is no win in comparisons.”
So let’s kill comparisons. It’s not wise. Determine we’re not going to do it.
We’re going to kill comparisons, why? James 3:14-16 says this and I want you to see how dangerous this is – “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, (it’s earthly) unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Envy is demonic. It is unspiritual. It is not from heaven. It is earthly and demonic. “We’re going to kill comparisons, because it is demonic.
2. Cultivate gratitude in our own lives.
Someone defined envy like this Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives, and ignoring God’s goodness in your own life. So, we’re going to cultivate gratitude.
Proverbs 15:15 A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song. (Msg Paraphrase)
The cheerful heart is always ready to see God’s goodness. You see, if you want to look for bad in this world, you can find it. But if you want to look to see God working – let me tell you – you can find it! If you look for the blessings of God, you can see it! “For the cheerful heart, life is a continual song.”
Solomon, who was the richest man of his time – some people would believe, pound for pound, the richest man of all time – he said this – Ecclesiastes 8:12 (Msg paraphrase) Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I’m still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence
We want to be content and enjoy rather than endure life? Then enjoy what God has given us, instead of longing for what we don’t have.
When our life is good, thank God for His blessings. When our life is not what we would want it to be, thank God for His goodness, that He’s working in all things to bring about good to those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.
We will kill comparisons because they are earthly, unspiritual and demonic.
We will celebrate the blessings of others, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
We will cultivate gratitude, worshiping our God because He is worthy of our praise, because we have learned the key of being content, whether living in plenty, or living in want.