Service and Contentment


I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- Philippians 4:10-11
What’s the connection between contentment and service? Think about it.
As we’ve rattled it around in our heads and hearts, a couple of ideas have popped into our minds. You surely have some of your own. Share them in the comments. We’d love to hear them.
One connection point between contentment and service has to do with the way we serve. When our activity finds its fuel in a dissatisfied drum beat pounding in our hearts, we may lead or challenge or strive, but we won’t serve. Service springs out of the ground of contentment.
Why is that?
Perhaps it has to do with the humility and selflessness that we discussed in our small groups and looked at together last week. The drive to quell our eternal inner murmur of discontentment sets our activity into motion but locks our own selfish selves at the center. Even if we’re not overtly concerned with our own emotional state, our feelings motivate our action. The primary person we serve when we serve out of discontentment is ourselves. (Now, you could ask, is that really service?)
When we rest in the security of contentment we can be available to truly see and respond to the needs of people around us.
Paul’s contentment frees him to serve in every circumstance and to receive the ways his friends are able to serve him. Joy beams from his smile as he serves.
Take a moment to examine one place where you serve. Where is discontentment attempting to embed itself in the motivational core of your service? If Jesus replaces that dissatisfaction with security, how might your ways of serving change?


I forgot to say my friend Gail is in the hospital and now rehab for a broken pelvis so things are crazy right now.

Most of the time I serve, at work as a caregiver, or in the community, because it makes me happy to see I have pleased someone. When they light up because of something I have done I experience the same feeling. When I am a conduit of God's love for another I experience that love myself, as well. This is God's purpose for my life and fulfilling that purpose brings me joy. I get into trouble when I wish someone would do for me something I do for others. Ie. I am overwhelmed by the dirty dishes and piles of clutter and have no energy left to address them alone. Sometimes I need a companion/caregiver, too.

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