Contentment is one of those difficult to define qualities that’s even more challenging to put into practice and actually experience. Growing in this quality is a continual process that can’t be rushed. Whether you are very aware of your discontent or feel mostly contented right now, all of us have room to grow in this part of our character. How would you define contentment and how can we live a contented life?
How would you define contentment? On a scale of 1-10, how content are you right now? What obstacles prevent you from finding contentment?
Ask the Lord to help you grow in the area of contentment, then read Philippians 4:10-23.
- What does Paul say about contentment in these verses? Write your own one sentence summary of these verses.
- Are there any principles from this text or the sermon you want to practice in your life or that have been part of your life experience?
How could experiencing both scarcity and abundance help you learn contentment? How could resting on God’s provision (remember verses 13 and 19) help you grow in contentment?
Are there ways you think of poverty as a curse and material wealth as a blessing?
- How is your perspective confirmed or challenged by Scripture (see 4:12-13 and Proverbs 30:7-9).
- How do poverty and wealth present extreme tests of faith?
- How might growing in generosity help you grow in contentment?
What “things” are you tempted to love more than people (influence, pleasure, technology, experiences, food, experiences, possessions)? How could loving those things “depersonalize” people and twist your actions, thoughts, or values?
Like the Philippians and Paul exerted a positive influence on one another, who are some people that have been a powerful influence in your life and who is someone that you want to influence to find and follow (or keep following) Jesus?
What would it look like for you to stand strong in your life right now? At different times in life, internal and external pressures can force us to lose our footing and direction. As we near the conclusion of the letter to the Philippians, we find encouragement to...
Eyes on the Prize
It’s not uncommon to find people who begin to pursue Christ with unbridled enthusiasm only to see them falter when life gets hard. A believer who pursues Christ must do so with a Spirit-empowered perspective. Paul had a deep desire to know Jesus more and more. And he...
Finding Your Confidence
So many factors conspire against our living in a way that pleases God. We not only deal with our inner struggles, but we must also face people who sound well-intentioned but oppose the ways of God. We can unwittingly embrace a conspiracy of confidence in our...
Connecting and Reconnecting Others
As followers of Jesus we are able to share with one another the rewards and joys of our faith as well as its demands and sorrows. In doing so, we come to experience the love and comfort of belonging to a community of believers that is as concerned for us as we are for...
Our Work and God’s Work
Christian growth is complex but simple. God does His part, we do ours. Put another way, God invites us into a cooperative work with Him. And part of that process involves how we treat each other. It really does matter. Our attitude toward each other often speaks...
Have you ever had a moment when you thought, “Now, I’m really living!”? Maybe that feeling came with a thrilling moment, significant achievement, or meaningful experience. All of us want to experience that good life, but those feelings of “really living” seem to fade...
A Clear Perspective In Unclear Circumstances
Experiencing hardships is a normal part of life that can cause us to focus on negative feelings and anxiously anticipate negative outcomes. Being courageous followers of Jesus Christ doesn’t exempt us from these experiences and may, in fact, be the cause of them and...
Your Lens for Seeing Life
Like the lens of our eyes (or eyeglasses), we all carry around internal thoughts, feelings, and ideas composing core beliefs that filter our everyday experiences and help us make sense of life. As the Apostle Paul writes a “thank-you” note to the church at Philippi...