Are You Content?

 

 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. ~(1 Timothy 6:6 AMP)

Content – adj-in a state of peaceful happiness. Verb-satisfy. Noun-state of satisfaction.

For years I didn’t know what contentment was. I knew what discontentment was; (a restless desire or craving for something one does not have.) I used to not care about the whole credit cards are spending tomorrow’s prosperity today and I did not like to deny myself anything. I used to have a shopping addiction and a little “retail therapy” can get out of hand quick. I had quite a bit of credit card debt at one time. Ok, well, like 3 times, but Thankfully & All Glory to God, I have ZERO credit card debt now. I was looking to external forces to try and fill that void that only God is designed to fill. I used to get upset and say my husband was too frugal. He was always the voice of reason, the kill joy of my desire to impulsively spend.

Frugal – saving or sparing; not wasteful; requiring few resources.

God began to show me the art of contentment and what being frugal really meant and how it all played into being a Good Steward.

Good Steward- doing the best with all things God has given us.

“Biblical stewardship”-utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.

Stewardship – a person using every talent and repeatedly sacrificing desires to do the right thing.

These are some things I have found that being a good steward we need to do:

A good steward focuses on God, not things.

And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. (Colossians 3:2 AMP)

I had always looked to earthy things before to satisfy my longings instead of God. When my focus was more on God, the glitter of the worldly things that used to distract me lost some of its sparkle.

A good steward examines their life.

Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord! (Lamentations 3:40 AMP)

This includes our behavior, motives, thoughts, attitudes, and direction. Always ultimately imitating Jesus and returning to the Lord. Do I really need this? Is this the best use of my money, time, and resources?

A Good steward has self- control.

He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 AMP)

I used to be a collector … a nicer way of saying I had a shopping addiction. I collected dolls, teapots, cookie jars, shoes, purses, perfume, jewelry, books. Etc.

Then God showed me this verse: “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-6:21) I read it one day with fresh eyes and instantly decided to stop collecting. I did not want my heart to be with the wrong things. I asked myself was my collection of things bringing God Glory and was it bringing betterment to His creation? So I got rid of my teapots, I stopped buying expensive perfume, excess shoes, purses, I boxed up the cookie jars and dolls, I gave away a ton of jewelry , boxes of knick knacks and I am making some progress on the books. It is tough to deny ourselves. It can become stifling when our closets, cabinets, drawers, and garages are so cluttered it slowly takes the wind out of us. It is also slowly sucking the quality of our lives away one knick knack at a time.

A couple years ago we remodeled our home after 17 years. In the process of making things beautiful and simplified we had to get rid of a ton of stuff. Sometimes it is difficult to part with things because we can have emotional connections to things because we have a memory when we bought them or someone gave them to us or they once belonged to someone else that is no longer with us. I learned God doesn’t want us to make connections with things; we are to make a connection with people. It was a wonderful spiritual lesson about removing the “Stuff” to make room for more of God.

A Good Steward makes sacrifices.

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:23-25 NIV)

Oh this is the one area that is so hard for most of us. I did not at first make these sacrifices cheerfully. Some of you may feel the same sting I did when I start suggesting some sacrifices like coloring your own hair instead of paying $150 every 4-6 weeks to have your highlights redone, Or packing lunch or cooking dinner instead of eating out, making your coffee at home instead of swinging by Starbucks every day, buying the $30 Dollar jeans instead of the $100 dollar name brand blinged out jeans, driving your car that’s paid for instead of eyeing your neighbor’s new car and running out to get you a new one with payments and interest, paying off your house instead of pining after a swimming pool or bigger square footage or the prestigious new neighborhoods, wearing the clothes in your closet instead of buying a new outfit, Limiting your manicures and pedicures to once a month or start to do yourself, mow your own yard, wash your own car.

The sacrifices we make show God we are serious about Gods business and not just about our own. Think of how many people you can help with all the extra money you could be saving. Think of how paying off all your debt would feel if you made just a few sacrifices? Don’t get me wrong, I think the occasional splurge is fine. I think sometimes those things can be sacrificed if only for a season. 

I am all for buying good quality items but I am no longer hypnotized by a society that confuses your worth or status with what designer name brand your wear or carry or drive. It is the day in and out with no regard to the wasteful spending or not denying you the conveniences by not making a sacrifice that God looks at. Add up the cost on your collection of purses, shoes, jewelry, fishing equipment, guns, pictures, gadget, records, phones, movies, Starbucks, pedicures/manicures, perfume, etc. What is it costing you? What is it costing others? Are those things really for Gods glory and the betterment of His creation?

We can live comfortable and simplified lives without all the crazy spending and accumulation of worthless things and really be living a much richer and fulfilling life. When we live our lives with the real Good Steward definition of “utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” And let it change our thoughts and become a part of us we will start to live genuine content and joyfully frugal lives knowing the really great and important things for Christ are priceless! ~~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

What’s in Your Tank? Are You Filled To Satisfaction?

A sated man loathes honey, But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. ~Proverbs 27:7 NASB

 

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. ~ Jeremiah 31:25 KJV

 

Sated-having one’s appetite completely satisfied
Satiate-to satisfy (an appetite or desire) fully. To satisfy to excess. Filled to satisfaction.
Satiety- the state of being satiated. Replenish- to supply fully. To fill or build up again.
Satisfy- to cause (someone) to be happy or pleased: to provide, do, or have what is required
Indolence-an inclination not to do work or engage in activities; Laziness

 

Recently the Lord has been giving me the word “Satiate” It was one of those crazy downloads He likes to do lately, so I write the word down, then I held onto it for weeks. Then He tries to get my attention with scripture verses I see, books I am reading, or hearing someone say “Satiate”, so I know it is time to UNWRAP the word and verses.

 

The verse in Proverbs, listed above, caught my eye because of the word sated, which I knew right away, was off my “God Word” Satiate. I was confused by why a sated man would loathe honey? So I decided to dig deeper. I found this description of the verse in the Pulpit Commentary. “Self-restraint increases enjoyment; over-indulgence produces satiety, fatigue, and indolence.” Well here I was thinking Satiate was a good thing, but in this commentary it describes over-indulgence produces satiety. So if Satiate is to satisfy, and to satisfy is to cause someone to be happy or pleased, then I knew satiate could be used in a good way or in a bad way. It was all about the balance. Sort of like what kind of gas are you filling up in your tank? They can both fill it, but which is best or most beneficial for you. When stress comes and you turn to the cake (cheap gas) instead of God, (good gas) which is going to give you lasting results? Which choice benefits us and our waistlines in the long haul? And then I noticed satiety was grouped with fatigue and indolence. I knew what fatigue was, but indolence. Well I had to look that up and found it is just a fancy word for lazy.

 

So to over indulge in something can satisfy in excess (satiety), keep us tired (fatigued) or just keep us lazy (indolence); so I knew God was speaking to me. The balance and boundaries are important as well as our choices. As it says “Self-Restraint” increases our enjoyment. In the moment it does not seem enjoyable because we aren’t comfortable denying ourselves anything and face it, we sometimes can be quite rebellious and disobedient when it comes to our choices and setting boundaries or exhibiting self-restraint. The next verse in Jeremiah spoke to me and I knew that God was weaving all this to remind me of my “Sated” journey and to share it with you.

 

As far back as I can remember, as a child, once we ate a meal we would need to have something sweet afterwards. We were all about the dessert! Then after the dessert, I would say “I need a meaty after my sweetie.” It was funny as a child, but when we get to be an adult and our metabolism slows and that vicious cycle of never being “Satiated” really is an addictive cycle of trying to fill ourselves up with something other than what God designed or had in mind, it loses its humor. For years I stuffed my stomach to feel satiated. I over-indulged and was on the wrong side of the satiate scale. I was putting the cheap dirty gas (alcohol, cigarettes, food, shopping, approval, work, achievements, people pleasing, etc.) In to my tank. It was not running very well. When I begin to let God fill and replenish me, things really changed. I was first awakened to this connection to emotional stuffing and my need for God to fill those voids (those bad gas items) about 7 years ago.

 

My dear friend Annie Haydock told me about the book “When Food is your Best Friend & Worst Enemy” by Jan Johnson. That book was life altering for me. We are also ministry partners since 2009 and have a local ministry called Conquering Overeating. We have seen many people come and go each week over the years, and many that continue to keep coming back to work the steps of recovery and find support and fellowship on this journey to fill ourselves with more of God instead of food. I have not reached perfection nor conquered this area. We are continuously conquering until we get to Heaven. Our verse is Romans 8:37. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Emphasis Through Him. I know now that it is only when we allow God to fill us; instead of food or whatever other bad gas items that we get on the right and good side of Satiate.

 

That “Meaty vs Sweetie” and addictive cycle is a Soul Destroying Routine. We keep looking for something to satisfy us when God is always there and calling to us to put down the Cheetos, the new purse, to stop eyeballing the dessert case, learn to say no, and to simply come to Him. To trust Him enough to allow Him alone to satiate us. His word promises us that. Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ~ John 6:35 NLT I want to hunger for more of God, instead of food or people or things or approvals or whatever compulsion it is that keeps me hopping to and fro looking to be filled or “Satiated” by the bad gas. I want to trust God that the good gas is what I need. I don’t want to hunger after those things anymore. I only want to hunger after God and the things He has for me. Friends, a “Satiated Soul” is never hungry. The only thing that can replenish our weary and sorrowful soul is Jesus. When our souls are so full of God’s presence and His word, we will be so full that we can’t do anything but pour out that goodness and love on others. Let us choose the Good Gas to fill our tanks with! ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom