Aim higher than happy
Selfishness and envy can produce confusion, evil, and division in every aspect of our lives, including our families, marriages, friendships, workplaces, and even in the church. When jealousy and selfish ambition arise in our relationships, happiness that might have been there disappears in an instant, like a balloon popping on a stand. The key to preventing such situations is to aim for contentment, which is durable and dynamic.
In Philippians 2:1-4, Paul pleads with the church at Philippi to aim higher than happiness and, instead, to aim for contentment which is durable and dynamic. He explains that harmony promotes contentment, and relational unity brings joy and peace. When we are getting along in our relationships, deep satisfaction and contentedness follow.
Selfishness and pride, working together as a wicked duo, always bring confusion and disunity into relationships. It is looking out for oneself and one's interests, demanding to watch what one wants to watch, insisting on eating what one wants to eat, expecting others to speak glowingly of oneself, and insisting on getting one's way. Such behaviors will pop the balloon of happiness every time.
To aim higher than happiness, we must focus on being tender and compassionate toward others, agreeing and working wholeheartedly with others, and being of one mind and one purpose with one another. The greatest example of contentment is Jesus Christ, who taught us how to love one another, enjoy fellowship in the church family, and remain tender and compassionate toward one another.
The key to avoiding trouble and disorder in our relationships is to learn the secret of contentment. We can't be fine with pointless quarrels in our marriages, with our children, with our grandchildren, our friends and co-workers, or even with our neighbors and acquaintances. Instead, let us aim for contentment in our families, friendships, workplaces, and church family.
“Happy is now in the moment; content is durable and it’s potent.” - Pastor Jeff Ellis
- Adapted from sermons across our 3 campuses on April 30, 2023.
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