Simplicity doesn’t equal contentment

By Dave Henning / March 28, 2014

In Chapter 2 (“Time to Enroll”) of Satisfied, author Jeff Manion asks how God’s grace can prevail and empower us to live deeply satisfied lives when our lives are interrupted by unexpected or undesired events.  Pastor Manion adds that radiating Christ’s joy and peace in such situations is a challenge not to be underestimated.  Our task, he notes, is “not merely to live more simply but to simplify [our] lives with a bearing of grace and joy.  Don’t confuse simplicity with contentment.”

When our lives have been disrupted and devastated by our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, we have the opportunity to enroll in the school of contentment. Pastor Manion emphasizes that the stakes are high, for particularly during a season of shortage, resentment is our most natural response.  Furthermore, our discomfort easily can boil over into self-pity, with an onslaught of “Why” questions for God.  Indeed, our circumstances can prove to be so difficult that our heart can’t possibly be neutral. When we’ve unwillingly been thrown into a season of cutting back, contentment will steady our course, as the author astutely observes:

“Contentment combats the downward drift of the heart.  It is through contentment that we encounter fullness in a period of shortage, and joy in a journey of downscaling.”

Today’s question: At the present stage of your transformational, healing journey, how would you describe your current state of contentment?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The school of contentment- open enrollment”

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Dave Henning

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