Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thomas Watson on Christian Contentment

If you are like me, you struggle with contentment.  You believe your current situation is God-ordained.  You believe that God is intimately involved in every part of your life.  You are grateful for what God has given you--family, health, vocation, food, clothing, housing, and a thousand other gifts that you recognize in passing everyday.  You know that God possesses all things and could give you whatever he wished, but you kick against the limits he has placed on your life: you wish for more money or leisure time, different geographical location or job, perhaps a wider scope for what you believe to be your good desires.  You spend time indulging in daydreams about your ideal life. 

Thomas Watson, that sound old Puritan has good words for us from his book The Art of Divine Contentment.  Hard, convicting words, but words we would do well to ponder.

"If the thing we desire is good for us, we shall have it. If it is not good, then not having it is good for us. Resting satisfied with this promise gives contentment."

"Discontent both eclipses reason and weakens faith. It is Satan's usual policy to break over the hedge where it is weakest. Discontent makes a breach in the soul, and usually at this breach the devil enters in by a temptation and storms the soul. How easily can the devil, by his logic, dispute a discontented Christian into sin!"

"The way for a Christian to be content is not by raising his state higher, but by bringing his spirit lower; not by making his barns wider, but his heart narrower."
                                                                             Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

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