I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11)
We all have the root of resentment deep within us. Our sinful nature creates an internal “GPS” which leads us in the wrong direction. I am not talking about a Global Positioning System, but rather the three ugly qualities of . . .
- Greed – We are unsatisfied with the portion God has given to us.
- Pride – We are unwilling to stop comparing ourselves with others.
- Selfishness – We are unable to see past our own desires.
Our sinful GPS makes us envious of what others have, and we are often angry at God because we don’t have it ourselves. This root of resentment has ruined many relationships, both vertically and horizontally. That is why it is so important to recognize the workings of our internal GPS and take it to Christ for correction.
When was the last time you prayerfully considered the internal operation of your GPS? Is it directing the course of your life upward or downward? Are you drawing nearer to Jesus or slipping away?
One of the keys that can unlock the door to changing your GPS so that it reflects the glory of God is to live by the truth of today’s passage from Paul. Notice that Paul had to learn contentment. It did not come to him by nature. He had to draw on the person and power of Jesus in order to be content, regardless of the circumstances he faced in life. Whether in plenty or in want, Paul looked to Jesus and found the necessary contentment to press on in life without the root of resentment restricting his forward progress. To be sure, the apostle Paul knew the full range of human experience, from the bright sunshine of the mountaintop to the gloomy darkness of the valley. Through it all, God was teaching him contentment.
Is this the confession of your life today? Remember, unlike many of God’s gracious gifts, contentment is not given to us in the full amount. It is learned over time and through many trials. The more we look to Jesus, the more we will learn contentment. We will be satisfied with our portion because our portion is Jesus. We will stop comparing ourselves with others because we know we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And we will see past our own desires to the desires of our God and the needs of others.
Perhaps the best way to remember how to change your GPS is to ask God to work in your heart every day to change those words from greed, pride, and selfishness to GOD, PEOPLE, and SELF. When God is on the throne of our lives, we will love and serve our neighbors, and the self will learn contentment. Then our lives will be tracking on the correct course, and our new, Spirit-filled GPS will lead us in a divine direction.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!