"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are - no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought." Matthew 5:5 (The Message)
These wise words come from my desk calendar. In a season that can often get wrapped up in things, this was a meaningful message for me to hear. These words can keep us grounded. I understand what it means to feel content with who I am, but it has taken time to get there. I can also get derailed and caught up in the messages around me. After reading this, the question came to me, how do you teach this to someone?
I'm not sure how to teach it, but I do think it is learned through modeling and experience. At what point in your life, did you truly understand what it means. Was it a particular life experience? Was it something that someone said or did? Was it a series of situations that worked together to bring you to this revelation?
I think we learn more about being content, when we appreciate what we have and do not long for more. We value relationships and experiences over things. I think it also comes when you put the needs of others before yourself. I saw a glimpse of this on Saturday morning when we began our Advent preparations and traveled as a family to the Christmas tree farm. As we rode in the car, we talked about what kinds of ways we will prepare our home and our hearts for this season. We talked about ways that we can give to others. Will also knew that he would visit Santa while we were there. We asked if he had any ideas about what he might say. Without prompting, he said "First I need to tell him that our dog, Belle, needs a new bed and some treats. Then I'll tell him something I want this year." That's exactly what he did, he introduced Santa to our dog, Belle and then shared about her needs first.
I believe one message of this Advent season as we wait for the birth of Christ is about contentment with all the gifts we already have been given, putting the needs of others before ourselves, and then sharing the joy and hope that Christ's life offers with the whole world.
How can you do that today?