It’s a New Year!!!! Today I played a game of scrabble with Kade and scored 585 points with three 7 letter plays, (probably my highest score ever) but the one thing I’ll remember was a 6 point play that stunted me (couldn’t make it 7) with the word “content”. It made me think about words and dual meanings as well as our American struggle with “content” and being content. I love word plays. Ironically, I have been considering a word play that Jesus used since church last night.
Being content is a tough proposition as an American Christian. At Mount Zion this weekend Pastor Dave preached on the rich young ruler and it’s interesting when Jesus quotes the commandments in Mark 10, he seems to sort of misquote them… he says “Do not defraud”, rather than “don’t covet”; scholars have been baffled on this for a long time, but my take on it is that Jesus goes on to shrewdly confront the rich young ruler on the covetousness of his heart as what makes him “fraudulent” as a follower of Christ. Consider the implications to the church today as we are supposed to be bearing His image but are considered fraudulent by Christ if we aren’t content in Him… (It also could regard Him as “God”, but that’s another subject.) In my opinion it’s a very intelligent play on words in Greek and still challenges our carnal hearts 2000 years later.
There’s a lot in the Bible that points to contentment (within the heart of discipleship) as being the main goal in Christ in terms of a communal kingdom perspective.
The sages would pray daily, “Lord, make my heart so malleable that I am ready and willing to accept whatever You provide for me.”
Consider Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
We need to learn contentment as a Christian virtue as the body of Christ regardless of what the world says. The Greek word used in Hebrews 13 for content is arkeo and means to be completely satisfied with the provision of God; in context this is directly at odds with the world.
￼In Hebraic thought life was about balance and each person affected the balance of the whole community. May I be restless to do His will – and to rest in Him. May I contribute to the balance of the kingdom. This is the sacred balance: that His purpose becomes my driving force and His character becomes my contentment. The entire message of Scripture can be read in these words: May I find rest in You, O Lord.
I would encourage you, as you make your New Year’s resolutions today that your sentiment might be that you find rest in the lord and in Him, you might be content as an intricate ingredient of the kingdom and the body of Christ.