Today, another concept struck me regarding changes that Christianity as a whole needs to embrace. There has been a concept throughout Church history that is not very prevalent today, especially in the white, suburban culture in which I am immersed. That idea is a very literal application of the principles found all throughout scripture that discourage wealth and encourage simple living.
This is an immediate turn-off for many, and some would reply by saying that a change of that kind is unnecessary in the average Christian's life. However, the emphasis is not on becoming a poorer person but on becoming a content person. This is the primary principle that poverty-focused scriptures have encouraged.
The specific Scriptures I was working with today that struck me were 1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." Food and clothing? Can we add cable? Everyone would find it difficult to be content with merely these things; where does Paul find such strength. In fact, he tells us in another letter.
In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul explains, "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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." The strength that he seeks is not for some super-human ability but for contentment.
Let us try to remove some non-necessity from our lives in the next week. Contentment is not measured by how much or how little we have, but by our attitudes regarding what we have. Remove something and trust God to give you strength to be content.