Have you ever seen two things appear to be completely opposite yet actually occur at the same time? I work out on a daily basis with a few people, and it is interesting to see how I handle the process. Most days I dread being there; while I am also excited. These two opposite emotions are occurring at the same time. I dread the pain and exhaustion that is coming or present at the time, but I am also excited about the improvements and successes that are being made. For me, they are both necessary. The desire to avoid the pain is what tells me I’m putting in the work, and growth does not happen without struggle. The excitement is there because of the growth I am making from putting in the work. These two opposite drives are simultaneously pushing me to a good, healthy workout that creates my best.
One of the things God is working on in me is the concept of being content and pushing for continual growth. These are two seemingly opposite concepts that cannot coexist. For me, not only can they coexist, but they can simultaneously occur within someone.
Being content is a state of mind that is free of anxiety, depression, feelings of worthlessness, and fear. When you are content, you are functioning in that sense of peace that God described in Philippians 4:7, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” So, from a Biblical perspective, being content is having peace.
Being content cannot be confused with being complaisant. Content is not settling or accepting where you are. Continual growth is that desire and push to always get better. When you are focused on your growth, it is a matter of looking at where you are at and knowing you want more.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.
— Mathew 5:6
My relationship with Him at times is a struggle between these two concepts. When I want more in my relationship with God, I feel like I have to use the lack of contentment or peace to motivate me to grow. While on the other hand, I can confuse being complacent with being content. This is why being content and the desire for continual growth must occur at the same time. I must continually look for opportunities to grow my relationship while being at peace with where He has brought me. The Bible says after having done all to stand, stand firm. The key to this is doing all to stand then you can contently stand firm.
I think God puts things in our lives so we can make comparisons to Him and our walk with Him. My workout routine is similar to my walk with God in that they both have seemingly opposite concepts occurring at the same time. I dread a workout, but I am excited about the physical growth. I am content with where God has brought me, but I want to grow more spiritually. I know with God there is always a peace that passes all understanding and a challenge to improve my relationship with Him.
— Written by Chris
The picture is of two physical opposites that both have a fierce heart full of compassion for others.