Abiding; Contentedly

March 2, 2018 an answer to a question I had on Sunday 2/25/18 about being content while striving to be better…

Sometimes when I preach I illustrate extremes by moving from one side of the stage to the other.  I often find it easiest to define something, like humility, by contrasting it with its opposite; pride.

So with that in mind, one summer during midweek Bible Study I made a simple PowerPoint graph that looked something like this:

Industriousness——————————————————————————Contentment

Of course when I realized that being industrious wasn’t really a bad thing, my graph attempt was busted.  God wants us to be both content (Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5-6) and hard working (Proverbs 6:6-8; Philippians 3:12).  Biblically, the contrast is between contentment and worry.

Anxiety (Matt 6:25ff)——————————————————————————Contentment

The opposite of Industriousness is actually Complacency (Proverbs 6:9-11); so in this PowerPoint I put those on the vertical (“y”) axis.  I can’t figure out how to do that on WordPress, but you can doodle it if you’d like.  What I discovered is that there are four quadrants and noticed:

A person can be hard working and anxious – we might call him/her a “Stress Case”

A person can anxious and complacent, we might call him/her a “Hand Wringer”

A person can be content and complacent; the Bible calls him/her a “Sluggard”

The person who finds a way to be both industrious and content is what I call an “Abider”  And only through abiding in Christ can we really do anything that matters while also resting in His everlasting arms!

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NKJV)

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