Sunday, March 27, 2011

A few points for contemplation and discussion

Hello again!  I know - you're shocked that this post is in such close proximity to the last.  There are some things I'd really like to share, though!  The following topics have been on my heart, lately, and God has addressed them in very clear ways.  I'm in awe of the timing and clarity of these answers, and thought I'd share with you all!

Fasting: This is something I'd seen/heard about others doing through various groups in college.  It was never something I felt called to do, though.  Plus, my-mother-in-me had me convinced that it was not a nutritiously smart thing to do.  Recently, however, I've been looking for things to challenge and grow me spiritually.  A family member mentioned that he'd participated in a 5-day fast and how much it had strengthened his faith and changed his perspective on life (and food) in many ways.  So, I started considering it, and mentioned it to a friend.  As it turns out, she had been planning on fasting sometime in the near future, but wasn't sure when or how long, or if she'd even have the strength to do it on her own.  Me bringing it up was a clear push for her to go ahead and do it, and I believe the fact that she'd been planning on it was my call to participate, as well.

Tithing: Because I'm not actually a member of the church(es) I've been attending in the recent past, I've been wondering where my monetary offering should go.  I was recently reminded, however, that the money is God's money and He will use it for the good of His kingdom no matter where I give it.  Then, in church this morning, it was announced that the next few weeks will be a campaign to get the church out of debt.  Normally, people (including myself) groan at stewardship messages.  The fact that this had been on my heart, however, really drove it home that God can and will use my money no matter where it goes, AND He gave me a clear picture of where it is needed right now (in my little part of the world, at least).

Contentment: Lately, I've been hearing from various sources that it's dangerous to be content in life.  According to these sources, if you're content, there's nothing in your life that can only be handled by God - if you're content, you're not really relying on God to take care of the "unknowns" in your life.  This is some of what the Bible says about contentment, though:   

  • Philippians 4:11-12 - "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
  • 1 Timothy 6:6 - "Now godliness with contentment is great gain."
  • Hebrews 13:5 - "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

So, I think being content is perfectly acceptable and to be admired, HOWEVER we shouldn't become complacent.  Here's some of what the Bible has to say about complacency:

  • Zephaniah 1:12 - "I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem's darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the LORD will do nothing to them, either good or bad."
  • Revelation 3:16-17 - "So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." 

I think it's very easy to confuse these two words, and we should be careful not to do so.  Being content with life (what we have, where we are, who we know, etc.) is very different than becoming complacent in our faith (i.e. thinking we don't need to show God's love to EVERYone around us, not living like Christ outside of going to church on Sundays, living by our own power rather than by faith in God's, etc.).  May we all be content with the life God has granted us and be able to fight the complacency that can so easily accompany the blessing of this contentment.

I hope this didn't get too deep for you all.  : )  I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of it!

In Him,

P.S.  Charlie's appointment/shots went very well yesterday!  He weighs 10 lbs. (5 more than when I got him), and it a healthy kitty!

Favorites of the day:
not having to go somewhere else (or having to pay) to do my laundry
crossing things off my to-do list(s)


  1. Kensy, I LOVE this! I have just been reading Crazy Love, and it talks a lot about becoming complacent. I have also been feeling the nudge from God to fast. I am so thankful that God put on your heart to write this post. Love you!

  2. Kensy, thank you for pointing out the differences between being content and being complacent. I've never really thought about either of those aspects in light of the Bible before, and your post made me look at my own actions in another light. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts. Not sure if some of these thoughts about contentment came from things I have said...if so, it's a misunderstanding. I think one of the key factors is what you find your contentment in. Finding contentment in God and every moment/ thing you are given is a great thing. Finding contentment solely in the things of this world without giving thanks to God is not good, in my opinion. Contentment solely in this world drives people to complacency with God. I think all of this has a lot to do with our comfort level. Complacency happens when we get too comfortable and rarely step out in faith. The radical faith that Jesus calls us to should make us uncomfortable. We leave our comforts behind to follow him, we take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23ff). We enter into the dark, messy places of the world to spread the good news...and that process is rarely comfortable or easy. We should constantly be stretching ourselves and stepping out in faith, while simultaneously being content with the things that God has given us.