Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to. 1 Corinthians 7:24
Contentment is quite elusive. The aged Apostle Paul said from his imprisonment in Rome that he had learned the secret. He had learned to be content in whatever circumstance he found himself in. He was happy with plenty and he was happy with little. What was his secret? Here it is, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ”. Did you see it? It is the value of knowing Christ. Everything else pales in comparison. Here is Luther’s comments on today’s verse.
“Everyone has a calling in life. Believers serve God when they whole-heartedly take care of these responsibilities. An official who governs well serves God. A mother who cares for her children, a father who goes to work, and a student who studies diligently are all servants of God. Many overlook this God-pleasing lifestyle because they consider simple, day-to-day work insignificant. They look instead for other work that seems more difficult and end up becoming disobedient to God. God requires that believers work hard at their callings without worrying about what anyone else is doing. Yet few people do this. A poet who reflected on what people are like once said, ‘The farmer would like to be a shopkeeper, and the shopkeeper a farmer’. Few people are satisfied with their lives. The person in the pew wants to be a member of the clergy. The student wishes to be the teacher. The citizen wants to be mayor. Few people are content with their callings. However, there is no other way to serve God except simply living by faith, sticking to your calling, and maintaining a clear conscience.”
You see, the natural man of this world judges himself, his worth, and his happiness by his perception of what he does with his life. Is he a student, a professor, a business man, an athlete, or maybe a rock star? Each one of these carries some sort of stigma or mark of importance and, in the world’s view, success and importance. Paul had been there and done that. He remembered bragging about his tribal connection, his status as Pharisee, his tutelage under the famed Gamaliel, even his Roman citizenship. By the time he was jailed in Rome those bragging days were far gone. Where had they gone? They were swept away by Paul’s revelation of true importance found in his calling as a Christian. You may be a banker, a seamstress, a poet or a king. You may be a superstar athlete or a sanitation engineer, but none of these things determine who you really. These are not the source of your joy or your identity. Contentment is found in the preciousness of embracing the calling to know and love Him.