Friday, October 04, 2013


Lord, in some areas of my life I should be content and, in others, contentment is carelessness. Guide me as I learn the difference. Amen (Ullas Tankler, Disciplines)
The prayer above was at the end of the devotional I read today.  I hadn't thought before that there are times in our faith when we should be content, and times when we should not.  How do we tell the difference?

When is contentment careless?  When is contentment thanksgiving?

I think there are times in ministry when we feel content, satisfied, pleased with what we are doing and how we are doing it, when we might be ignoring God's call to move forward, to stretch, to take chances.  There is a women's circle in my church that had every reason to be content.  They like each other, they enjoy getting together, they are a support to each other.  They were content, until one day, when one of their members talked to them about the children in the school down the street whose only meals are the free breakfast and lunches they get at school.  These children don't eat on the weekends.

How can we be content when children are hungry?  I think in that situation, contentment was carelessness.

Now, the circle has started a backpack ministry.  Each week they pack enough food into 15 backpacks to feed 15 children throughout the weekend.  The backpacks are delivered to school and distributed to 15 specific children (chosen by the principal for the program).  Those children aren't hungry on the weekend anymore.

The women's circle was afraid to start.  This is not an inexpensive program -- how would they get the money?  How would it be staffed?  Who would deliver the bags?  How would they do it at all?

But they did.  And this year they've increased the number of children they serve from 10 to 15.  And God continues to supply the needs of the program.

In that, they can be content -- in the idea that God is with them.

Maybe we tell the difference by measuring our contentment against God's will.

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