Contingent contentment creates wounded, worried people

By Dave Henning / March 28, 2018

“Contingent contentment turns us into wounded, worried people.”- Max Lucado

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”- Philippians 1:21 (New Living Translation)

Max Lucado concludes Chapter 7 of Anxious for Nothing as he stresses that materialism never truly defines personal happiness.  Indeed, in Philippians 4:12, the apostle Paul stated he had learned the secret of contentment.  Not the principle or the concept, but the secret.  It’s as if Paul beckons us to lean in close and hear him whisper the secret about happiness.

Since there’s always another purchase out there, the latest means of sustaining joy, the race is unwinnable.  Therefore, Pastor Lucado states, running the materialism race sets you up for anxiety.  For, Max adds, “in each case joy comes, then diminishes. . . . .  Contagious contentment turns us into wounded, worried people.”

As a result, Paul learned to be content with what he had.  Hence, he advanced a healthier strategy.  Rather than focus on his jail cell, guard, and chains, Paul focused on a different list.  Consequently, Paul had:

  • eternal life
  • the love of God
  • forgiveness of sins
  • the surety of salvation
  • Christ – and Christ was enough

Furthermore, what Paul had in Christ far surpassed what he had in life.  Most noteworthy, within the 104 verses of Philippians, Paul mentions Jesus forty times – about every 2.5 verses.

Nothing – death, failure, betrayal, sickness, disappointment – can take our joy.  Because they all fail to take our Jesus.  Anxiety thrives in the petri dish of “if only.”  Therefore, Max concludes:

“Anchor your heart in the character of God.  Your boat will rock.  Moods will come and go.  Situations will fluctuate.  But will you be left on the Atlantic of despair?  No, for you have found a contentment that endures the storm.”

Today’s question: How do you define living for Christ?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Experience a perfect storm”

About the author

Dave Henning

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