struggles

Today we start a Praise Thursday series on values, inspired by the book #Struggles by Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv.  The theme of the book (click here for more info) is giving us sound biblical tools to combat our addictions to technology and social media, focusing more on “following Jesus in a selfie-centered world.”

Craig sets up the book by establishing eight biblical values that can help us put technology and social media in its proper place. The first is contentment, which is defined as a state of satisfaction or peace of mind.  Contentment can be at risk when we put too much value in comparing our lives with others through social media.  Comparison can be a trap that leads to envy…and envy is the enemy of contentment.

So what can the Bible teach us about contentment?  First, that Christ can be the source of our contentment, as Paul shares in Philippians 4:12-13. 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Remember that Paul wrote that while he was in jail, chained to a guard!

What can we do to foster contentment in our lives?  The first choice is to embrace our position and confidence in Christ as his child.  Then, we have to identify and stop doing things that cause us to compare or even envy. That may look different for each of us. Stop trying to one-up your friends on social media? Quit worrying about your likes and follows? Maybe. You can also start celebrating the blessings in the lives of others instead of wondering why it didn’t happen to you. You also can cultivate gratitude; being thankful for what you do have instead of what you don’t.

and…remember this…the toe-stepper…in Exodus 20:17 (The Ten Commandments): “Thou shalt not covet.”

Thanks for listening!

-Joe

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