Contentment Is Sometimes About Self Denial
“Contentment is being satisfied — satisfied not because something is in sufficient supply, but satisfied with whatever is available.” – Cynthia Heald, Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough
I’m the first to admit that I have my preferences and sometimes I’m like a bulldog when it comes to having my way in a specific area.
To know me is to know that I’m a coffee snob; or more accurately, a coffee creamer snob. I’ve turned down a much desired early morning cup of coffee many times because I don’t have the “right” creamer available to me.
I’d go a full day or two pining for the coffee I missed. I was dissatisfied and very discontent in my choice to forgo that longed for coffee.
But then there are times that I get to choose to drink the coffee with only a couple packets of sugar and perhaps not even a hint of half and half. I can choose to be satisfied and content because it meant meeting with a dear friend and new friends over coffee in a coffee house that doesn’t specialize in the frou-frou.
In the settling in to preferring others over my own desires, I realize the richness of “self-denial”. It gives me another way to get over myself.
If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:3 (NLT)
I know that life is about so much more than creamer in my coffee, but it is about being more like Jesus every day.
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23 (NLT)
It’s denying myself and being satisfied with whatever is available when reaching out to others.
We may not be “ever-present” like Jesus is, but it can be that we’re a ready person, “prepared and eager to respond when she believes she can help and has something to give.” – Elizabeth George, A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
Paul learned what it is to be content, and in that contentment, he was satisfied with whatever was available to minister to others.
What would self-denial look like for you? After reading today’s devotional, do you think that it would be easier to give up something that you prefer in order to give to others?