Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strife vs. Contentment

Today I want to focus on the notions of strife and contentment. In my mind, I view these states of existence as opposite mindsets. With strife comes worry and anger and longing and tension and anxiousness. A negative shade of color. With contentment comes peace and relaxation and gratefulness. A smile that can be given as a gift to one and all. In the last several years, I have somehow let strife have the upperhand in my life. A constant reassurance that I turn to so often is found in Phillipians 4:6-7:

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

These words are a powerful tonic in times of strife. On the other side of the wall is contentment. That feeling of complete ease with ourselves and the universe around us. No cares, no worries, no troubles. Complete and total inner peace. There are some relevant verses in the book of Proverbs that I really like in this area:

"Better is a dish of vegetables where love is,
Than a fattened ox and hatred with it."
, Proverbs 15:17

"Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice."
, Proverbs 16:8

"Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife."
, Proverbs 17:1