Monday, October 23, 2006

Author Sarah Bragg on Contentment


If we have not yet found contentment in Christ, we tend to search and search for someone to make us feel good about ourselves. It’s as if we walk up to every person we see or meet and ask that person to fill our cup to the top with compliments. “Please tell me I am pretty.” “Please tell me I am worth something.” “Please tell me that you will love me.”

Instead of looking to other persons to fill our cup, we need to present our cup to God. Psalm 143:8 (NIV) says, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (NIV). When we seek God’s “unfailing love” on a daily basis, we no longer feel the need to seek love and attention from others. God will fill our cup with His unfailing love, and then whatever we receive from others will just be an overflow.

To find freedom, we must first get to the heart of the matter—we must get to what’s inside. We can try to cover up our hurt on the outside, but we will never be healed until we heal from the inside out. A quick-fix bandage on the outside will only last for a short time, but the results of internal healing will last forever. Freedom and healing come from God’s truth, and that truth will set you free. This process takes time. It cannot be rushed.

Ask God to give you a new perspective. The true secret of contentment is learning to see yourself through God’s eyes. Contentment is something we must practice. Contentment is gaining the right perspective. God’s Word promises that you can learn to be content and, like Paul, you can say “whatever you want, Lord.” I am finally able to say with Paul that I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I have gained the right perspective on my body.


Sarah Bragg
Author, Body. Beauty. Boys

3 comments:

Sarah Onderdonk said...

Sarah,

We are just about hemmed in today with media that's trying to "sell" us on how we should look, think and behave. It's created a really unrealistic portrait of "belonging"... what it takes to be "in." The paradox is that being "out" (as in outside the vain and unloving/competitive sphere of the world) is where we should long for our hearts to be! So if we're "out" by the world's yardstick... we might be "in" with respect to an authentic Christian mindset and living.

Sarah, a question for you. Do you think that arriving at a state of contentment through Christ... as it relates to women and body image... is a matter of maturity that "sticks" with us once we embrace it? Or, is it more of a journey with movement forward and backward over the course of one's life? Maybe a better way to express it is: For most, is the battle ever really over?

Thanks for posting, Sarah! Your book looks great.

Sarah

Sarah Bragg said...

Great question....."Is the battle ever really over?" My answer is that it will be over in the end when Christ rules on the earth. Until then, I will always have to fight the ruler of this earth, Satan. He will always want me to believe lies and be discontent with who God created me to be.

I have to make a choice everyday to be content. Contentment comes with practice. For instance, I played the piano for 10 years. I haven't really played in years so if I were to sit down and attempt to play, I could. I would probably miss some notes and forget a few things because I haven't practiced. If I started practicing again, I'm sure I would be able to play again beautifully. The same is true with being content. If we stop practicing, we lose a little. The more we practice the better. We have to keep truth in front of us daily. Otherwise, we will slip back into dwelling on lies.

Sarah

Sarah Onderdonk said...

Sarah... thanks so much for the follow-up. You know, you are so right about the aspect of choice. I think sometimes we just set sail with our emotions and don't even realize that we are making decisions when we drift in and out of contentment. I can choose to be defeated (by allowing periods of discontent to override my joy) or I can resolve, through the grace of God, to make something positive out of every circumstance. I think Stormie Omartian once said the first question she asks in a bad situation is: "What's right with this picture?" It's a powerful mindset change. But, as you wisely suggest, it needs to be practiced.

Sarah

p.s. what's going on with e-mail?