“If God is your cause, you will be well content. If, on the other hand, self-seeking lurks in you, it will trouble you and weigh you down.”
— Thomas á Kempis (1380–1471)
A helpful suggestion: swap the words “if” for “when”.
When God is your cause, you will be well content. When, on the other hand, self-seeking lurks in you, it will trouble you and weigh you down.
The basic causes of contentment and discontentment lay within the levels of our coherence and incoherence with God. We must be prepared to give up what we cannot keep in order to gain what we cannot lose. This is the paradoxical argument of the Kingdom that Jesus ushers before us in the Gospels; that, if we wish to be first we must be last of all; that, if we wish to be content we must give our contentment away.
Many people grapple with these concepts and never really work hard enough in endeavouring to understand them. The few that do grapple are inevitably blessed in hidden Gospel ways.
Giving up What We Can’t Keep...
Most of what we see, and what attracts us, is fleeting and transitory. We cannot keep it, yet it often keeps us. These are the issues of life that hold us; those things we cannot easily let go of... our food issues, our alcohol and other drugs, pornography, our anger, the resentments and unforgiveness that keep us from peace, the childhood fears that serve only to condemn, and our materialistic fetishes, etc.
There are so many things we cling to in this life, and these are manifestations of our inner anxieties. Each of us has insecurities that we try to cover by the substitution of so-called easier things than God, often not realising that God is a straighter path to the release of those selfsame anxieties.
Our task is to identify these things that hold us and find ways of letting go, whilst being patient with ourselves in the process. God will help if we ask him and seek him.
... In Order To Gain What We Cannot Lose
When we let go of those things that interrupt the flow of the Spirit within us, we gain something we cannot lose: eternal life. A much more magnificent concept is eternal life than eternity, for eternal life is designed for here and now as much as to come.
When we learn to let go of our grip on those physical things, notions of power and control, and our emotional issues that plague our relationships, we are gifted this spiritual portent called eternal life through the knowledge of God.
We prove we know God when we do God’s will.
When we give up what we cannot keep in order to gain what we cannot lose, we truly know God. Learning to let go is about learning to receive the blessings of God. True contentment lies in relaxing our grip on worldly things, whilst clinging to the things of God with all our hearts.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.