Short Meditations on Peace 17. Peace & Contentment
1 Tim 6:6 there is great gain in godliness with contentment
Two meditations back we considered the absence of peace that comes from worries over major world issues, and then in the previous one, worries that come over trials and difficulties, personal hassles, but between the two there is a whole major area of absence of peace which is caused by the world’s discontent.
Prosperity, modern economics says, comes from buying and consuming things, and as such it encourages us to want more and more and more, but the only trouble about that it that such a philosophy leaves us never satisfied and so we are all discontented and lack peace.
Paul’s teaching to Timothy was in the context of wrong teaching. That teaching was in a spiritual context and the teaching we are talking about comes out of an economic context but it has a spiritual dimension to it. The world’s economic teaching comes in a godless context, it comes from man’s wisdom and forgets God.
Very often it is the godless context that causes people to strive for more and more. Not knowing they are loved by God, not having any relationship with Him, they strive to achieve purpose and meaning, identity and fame. I watch people do this all the time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be people striving to earn more or even get more possessions to achieve self-worth, it is often people striving to achieve things in society. Local councillors, for example, in local government, may be there because they want to make a name for themselves. Some may genuinely be there to do good for the community, but even that goal can have an underlying motive to get a name. All of these sorts of things mean we are worried about who we are, worried about what we have, and so we are discontented and lack peace.
There is a significant verse I often quote and quoted in the previous meditation that applies: ““For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10) When we come into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole of our live can be viewed from a new perspective – that of being a child of a loving heavenly Father who has got plans and purposes for us to bless us. The focus of life stops being on striving to achieve, but learning to listen to Him to see what HE has on His heart for us. With this approach we can rest in Him, be content with what I am and have TODAY, realising He may have more for us tomorrow, but as we are open to Him, He will lead us into it, and in that perspective we can be at peace. We trust all of these 17 reflections will help you to live in peace. May it be so.