This month we are discussing the emotion of contentment. When we were hashing out the storyline for each week’s blog, I decided I wanted to discuss learning to be finally content with my reflection. Not only content but to be truly joyful that I am the woman I see in the mirror.
I see now that I am exactly who the God of all Creation created me to be. You are too!
We talked Monday about the Magic Mirror in the fairy tale of Snow White. I shared my struggles with what I use to see in my (not so magical) mirror. Did the wrinkles disappear? Did I find the fountain of youth? Has every day since then been filled with flowers and trophies because I won the day’s beauty contest? No, none of these occurred. What has and is occurring is that I’ve been spending time with God. I’ve been undoing the lies the world has told me by tying my truth to God’s word. Finally, I’m learning how to be truly content with the person I see staring back at me in the mirror. I want that for all of us, don’t you?
Where did my mindset of discontent come from?
Well, I was raised in an all-American home that looked very much like everyone else’s from the outside. From an early age, I was raised to believe that contentment meant settling, and that is not a good place to land. Being content according to the world’s standard is not something to strive for. It’s to be avoided at all cost.
According to the world, we should always be reaching for the next rung on the ladder of life. The grass is always greener on the other side and we need to make it over “there” to be happy once and for all! Of course, there will always be a new upgrade coming that is sure to make life smoother than it has ever been.
Seeking out contentment is big business if you look at the commercials that flood your radio, television, and social media. Have you ever googled an idea for a vacation and had your Facebook page flooded with ads for Airbnb’s, cruises, airline tickets, or the ever-popular Sandals resort? Or maybe you were searching for something simple like a good moisturizer and suddenly ads for plastic surgeons, Botox injections, and spas are suggested because they have just the thing you need to “finally” feel beautiful and content.
The world tells us every day that our physical self, our home, our car, our bank account, and pretty much everything else around us is not good enough. Contentment is an elusive state of being according to the world.
However, the Bible says we can be content in every circumstance when we live God-centered lives. Paul teaches that contentment isn’t dependent on our surroundings, our belongings, or our current bank balance. It’s dependent on God alone. Philippians 4:11-13 states:
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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 all this through him who gives me strength.” NIV
What’s the secret to having a life of contentment? God is! Doing life with God and allowing Him to be the forerunner in your day to day, provides contentment that the world cannot offer.
No longer does the lure of new and shiny things, which will tarnish and fade away, hold my attention, nor should it hold yours. It sounds like I have arrived at Heaven on earth, doesn’t it? Let me rephrase it. Do I still like looking at shiny things? Yes, of course, I do! Do I somedays long for fewer wrinkles and love handles? Yep! But when I converse with God, He tells me I’m lovely and precious to Him. He says He is jealous for me and that He alone should be my focus. He whispers to me that He created me to be me and that I have a calling to fulfill.
Now when I pass by a mirror and it grabs my attention, I can now see God’s love for me reflecting back at me. Oh, I see the wrinkles, but now I know that they show experiences and life stories that I am meant to share. I see a mom that raised two sons to be good, Godly men and know that they learned how to treat their wives by witnessing how their father treated me. I see a wife of forty plus years that has stumbled and struggled along the way but has always been honored and held close by the husband she shared vows with.
I see a woman that if she had been left to her own devices would have ended up who knows where. But for God! God never saw those faults. He has never left me alone. He has been there through every tear I’ve shed, every time I’ve bruised my knees, and every moment I suffered from hurt feelings. He has cheered me on when I felt accomplished, He has picked me up when I faltered, and He has set me on a straight path to complete the mission He laid out for me before I was born. In God’s eyes, I’m exactly who He thought I should be. How can I not be content with that!!
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16 NIV
It can be the same for you!
By studying Scripture, we learn that faith in God means we must trust that He knows what we need and that He will provide it. Our job isn’t to run after the next shiny object. It is to seek Christ in all things. We are to chase after God and know that through Him true contentment will come. To do anything else makes us no different than those that don’t know Christ.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? …For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:25, 32-33 NIV
I ask you, Sister, are you resting in God? Are you content with your life regardless of your circumstances? What do you see beyond your reflection in the mirror?
Written by Rhonda Carlsen
Please note all scripture was taken from the NIV
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.