Archive for the ‘contentment’ Tag

Whatever you do, do it heartily, as working for the Lord [1]   Leave a comment

Do it Heartily

Do it Heartily

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” Col. 3:17,23

It took me some time to digest these words of wisdom from Paul. Experience taught me that following this advice is beneficial not only for others but also for self.

  • When Christians grumble

Sometimes as Christians we grumble, complain or argue when we feel that we’re treated unfairly. I have learned in these situations that retaliation is not the wise way to react as it indicates that we’re conforming to the pattern of this world (Rom. 12:12) and seeking the reward found in this world instead of the reward from above. Paul said:

Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Phil. 2:14

Yes the world is crooked and perverse and if you complain and grumble, you’ll not be beyond reproach as you’ll be criticized for doing so. If it is your pride which is causing you to complain then you’re reacting as the crooked and perverse people do. Instead, Paul said live innocent lives as children of God. Endure hardship, if someone slap you give him the other cheek Jesus taught (Mat. 5:29). Do not resist an evil person Jesus said. We often consider a child to be innocent as he is defenseless and this is how children of lights should be. Peter says, do not return evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9). It is in adversity that Christians make the difference. When everyone expects that you’ll fight for your rights, resist and retaliate and see no reaction, it is then that you’re making a difference. This attitude is not one of defeat but of strength because you’re giving loud answer through your action that your treasure is not in this world. If you’re fighting for glory and money, then the world will see that you’re seeking the things of this world like them. Paul again wisely wrote:

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:9

If you have food and clothing you must be grateful to God and be content. Do not fall in the same trap as those who have been entangled by the things of this world and have wandered from the faith. There’re much sorrows awaiting when your choose money and fame as the source of your happiness.

  • Whatever you do, do it heartily for the Lord

This is the cure to all the complaints, insatisfaction and grumblings. If you really do your job as if you were doing it for the Lord, you’ll stop grumbling and even seek to do more work. If the reason you’re working is to have more money and to reach a higher position, then you’ll reach a point where you’ll be discouraged or upset when you’re not promoted or there’s a lack of recognition from your boss. However, if your motive is to do your job heartily everyday as if you’re devoutly offering it to the Lord, then it will not matter if your boss sees your achievements. If you do not seek recognitions from the world then you’ll be spared the hurt of not being rewarded.  Paul said: “As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority…It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide” 1 Cor. 4:3

Imagine how the world would be if a Christian cook prepared food for customers as if it was for the Lord or a Christian doctor treated his patient as if the Lord was before him? There will be no need to go on the roof top and shout that you’ve done your best. Excel in the job you do even if no one is watching you. Whatever you do, do it for the Lord and do not expect to receive this reward on earth. Christians should be reputed to be hard workers and not known as being lazy or idle. Paul said:

Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” 2 Thes. 3:10-13

It is a sad truth that some Christians have bad reputations in their jobs. The name of Christ is blasphemed because of the quality of work they deliver. Whatever we do or say, Christ should be the reason of  our actions. If we’re serving Christ, we cannot participate in illicit works.

Last but not the least, God forges your character by what you do to make you what He wants you to be.

“It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by a man, much more than his activities, has the lasting influence” Oswald Chambers

Advertisements

Posted December 3, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

Debt of Gratitude   Leave a comment

Gratitude

He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” Luke 17:11-17

Let us time to express our gratitude to God.

As per the Oxford dictionary, the word “Gratitude” is “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

When Jesus healed the 10 lepers he commanded them to show themselves to the priests. This is what they did on the spot. One of the lepers who was healed came back to Jesus as he realized that he missed to thank Jesus for this blessing. Being thankful is a quality that 9 among the 10 lepers did not have. Perhaps the 9 others were grateful but they did not find it important to return on their steps to say “Thank you”. The readiness to say thank you comes from a heart which does not take for granted what he has. It is necessary to take the required time to say thank you even if it requires making backwards steps. The one least expected, a Samaritan, had this quality of being grateful. Samaritans were despised by the Jews and considered evil and yet the simple action of the Samaritan touch the Lord’s heart.

A father does everything he can for his children and does not always expect to be thanked or rewarded for his deeds. As Christians it is vital to thank God for every single blessings that we realize comes from God. If we forgot to say thank you for past blessings while in excitement, it is not too late to praise God for it today.

As the old hymn says “Count your blessings, name them one by one”.

Paul says: “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:20

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes. 5:18

David was a king who had a grateful heart. He said in the Psalms:

O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.Your plans for us are too numerous to list.You have no equal.If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,I would never come to the end of them.” Ps. 40:5

Abundance, glory and social status are often factors that contribute to an ungrateful heart. Man finds it no more necessary to thank God when he finds himself self-sufficient. When the “I” speaks, it boasts itself of its own achievements and forgets God.

I’m often guilty of taking glory and honor of my achievements when I know deep down my heart that it was God who miraculously orchestrated every steps that led to a blessing.

There’re enough reasons to thank God today for blessings we forgot to show gratitude the past years. I have observed that it is often those who have less who are the more grateful. Could it be because they know they are not self-sufficient and depend on God each step on the way. Such people have the time to appreciate God’s blessing and know Him more.

Wisdom tells us:

First, help me never to tell a lie.Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the lord?”And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name” Prov. 30:9
May the Spirit teach us contentment through this year.
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:6
May our attitude be like Job who praised God even though he lost everything.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised” Job 1:21

Shall it be our prayer ?

Lord teach me to discern and be grateful at the works of your hands. Forgive me for my pride and the disillusion of being self-sufficient. I plead you to give me my bread for today. I do not want tomorrow’s bread, today has enough trouble of its own. Do not give me too much for fear that pride drags me away from you. Humble my heart so that it becomes spontaneously grateful at your deeds

Posted January 2, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

Tagged with , , , ,