Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thy Way Not Mine O Lord"1 (Lyrics)
Philippians 4:11b – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (NIV)
Dents happen. They happen to our freshly painted walls, our cars, our fine furniture, and other things that we cherish. At least, these are the dents that we notice: dents in the things that matter to us.
This past summer, I painted some rooms. Afterward, I sat down and gazed at the beautiful walls: so unblemished, smooth, and clean. It felt satisfying. But alas, it wasn't long before I noticed a dent. Eager to preserve the fresh look, I quickly patched it. But then, I'd see another flaw … and then, another.
Do you see the trouble with dents? If we get overly focused on them, they can take over our life — if we allow it. Discontent takes root; and now we have a dent in our hearts. We're on a downhill slide. Next thing we know, we get cranky with a loved one for denting our cherished coffee table. Sadly, we've now put a dent in their heart — a dent far more serious than the one in the table. It is because we ourselves have lost the quality of godliness.
The trouble is not the dents, but our cherished ideals and expectations. We want something that we do not have. We cannot accept the fact that "stuff happens". With that in mind, consider the lifeview adopted by Paul, the apostle who endured many terrible disappointments:
1 Timothy 6:6-7 – Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. (NIV)
Philippians 4:12b – 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. (NIV)
What was Paul's great secret?
First, let me share my secret: After I mounted my pictures on the walls, the imperfections didn't grab my attention as before. I became more focused on the lovely artwork.
That would, of course, be no secret to you; but it does point us to Paul's secret. He had learned to focus on His Lord, and that's what kept him from getting consumed by the "dents" in his life. Paul saw, above all, the loveliness of Christ, the ultimate perfection in Whom is found no "dent" — Christ so pure, so gracious, Christ overflowing with goodness, Christ, the "great gain" — experienced only by learning the secret of contentment.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to see every troublesome "dent" in life as an opportunity to think upon You, our "great gain". Amen.
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Thank you Diane.
Very refreshing words Diane.
Diane, thank you for your helpful thoughts on dents.
Great devotion for today!! Thanks. I needed that thought.
So true. Aren’t we lucky to be able to change our focus whenever we choose!?
How true! It’s so easy to let our focus be on the flaws and not God’s blessings. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings.
I am blessed by your devotionals. This week I was talking with a friend in a nursing home who is confined to a wheelchair. She quoted that verse about Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Diane, you gave us another good one today. Thank you very much. We have so much to learn no matter our age.
God loves you and so do I,
Thank you Diane. The content of the Devotional today authorized by you is worth reading several times as I have. I thought you were directing it just to me. It was such a practical subject well chosen and well scripted. Thank you again, Diane.
I remember when our church put an addition on — whoever the guest minister was that preached for the service back then said he hoped down the road, that if he came back to visit, he wanted to see dents, worn spots in carpets, marks or dents on the walls, and looked used. That is what the church should look like.
Bless you, Diane, for your mavellous message on contentment.
I’m content even though my physically-handicapped better half is in a nursing home far away from our home, I visit her regularly. She is happy and doing well in that good Christian nursing home and I’m content to be living all alone in our home. The Lord is taking good care of her and me. We are happy, content and blessed. PRAISE THE LORD!
Thank you Diane for the inspiratonal words. Seems as I clear out the rooms in the manse, the pictures on the walls hid all kinds of dents.
So to bring that thought to a personal perspective in my relationship with God was a reminder that I am to be content even in this move towards retirement.
My mother was declared legally blind at the age of 75. I will always remember her words: “God has always provided for me and I will be content in whatever circumstance I am.” For this woman of faith to say these words in such a time when others would have cried out She turned to her God for comfort and to Jesus Christ for strength! She was my faith model and it was through her words of wisdom I felt God’s call to the ministry. All praise goes to Him! So thank you again for the reminder! I am content for God goes with me!