Sunday, March 22, 2015
Contentment in Life
1Cor. 7:17 However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches.
Even a follower of Jesus Christ can struggle from time to time about the place in which they find themselves. This was happening in Corinth and there was a certain amount of pressure to climb the social ladder. Too often the focus of life became acceptance by the world and promotion rather than reflecting Christ. Paul wanted the Corinthians to be content with where they found themselves in life rather than striving for the world’s approval.
One of the biggest challenges in the social strata was being a Jew. Circumcision meant that there was a visible sign that one did not belong to society — even for a Jew who became a believer. There was an instant social divide — even in the church, depending on your personal history.
The gymnasium was a major focus of Greek social life and the men wanted to be able to participate — but gymnasium literally meant “to train naked.” The pressure to “fit in” meant that Jewish Christians were considering plastic surgery so that they could climb the social ladder! The power and draw of the world continued to infuse the world of this church filled with new believers. Paul knew that becoming God’s holy people was possible, no matter the circumstances and it was vitally important for believers to be content with the life that the Lord had assigned.
Plastic surgery — really? Can we imagine people going to such extremes to fit in with society? Of course we can! I heard once about a young adult Sunday School class where every woman in the class chose to have some work done — and it became the centerpiece of conversation on a weekly basis! What would Paul have thought and/or said?!
We may have other temptations that push us to live a lifestyle that reflects a certain social standing so that we gain greater acceptance. Far too many are overextended in life because of the lifestyle they’ve chosen to live!
The goal and focus of life is to know Christ. Seeking success in the world and acceptance can become a distraction from that goal. The response of the believer may not be what the world expects, but that’s the whole point! Jesus followers are to be different. The things that the world sees as successful shouldn’t really matter to us.
Jesus is what matters to us — and living our lives as his holy people. We must learn to be content with all the rest.
Lord, I thank you for the life you have given me. May I rest in you and live in and through what you have provided. Amen.