Christian Living

Being driven vs. being chill

You say, “If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.” You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Here’s something I wrestle with. Do I let my holy dissatisfaction with the status quo rule or do I measure my ideals and settle for less?

This either-orness really drives me nuts. Yet I get locked into it all of the time.

  • I want to see different results! I need my life to make a difference. (In my ministry, in my work, in my family, etc) So that pushes me to bull-in-a-china-shop-styled action. It keeps me up until 2 in the morning working on stuff, it forces me to say no to some things and yes to others.
  • I really like watching television! No seriously. I don’t have a single show that I watch. Sometimes I talk to friends who are all caught up on every TV show and movie and think… gosh, I would love to sit around watching all of that, too. More practically speaking, one reason I don’t sit in front of the TV or rarely watch movies is that I’m constantly pushing myself as mentioned above. Even if it isn’t TV time I’d love to have time for something!

That’s the teeter totter I find myself on all the time. Being driven vs. being chill. 

It’s an unhealthy pattern I long to rise above.

There’s Always a Third Way

Preaching to myself here, the Gospel offers me a third option. Thanks be to God for this Good News.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Contentment comes from another world. It says, “Yes, be dissatisfied with the status quo and work hard on making changes.” But it also says, “Be happy with who you are, your circumstances, your weaknesses. Find satisfaction in who you are… God’s beloved child.

I’m convinced, more and more each day, that the drive that lives inside of me is from God. But I’m also leaning hard into being content.

  • Yes, I could do more.
  • Yes, I could change myself more.
  • Yes, I could make more.
  • Yes, I could have nicer stuff or live in a bigger house.
  • Yes, I could ____ more.

But, as Spurgeon says, even if I had twice as much “more,” if I’m not content with myself now I won’t be content with myself then. I need chose contentment because it’s the answer to my teeter totter problem.

Contentment comes from somewhere else. It’s supernatural. And when I rest in contentment I find what I’m looking for. 

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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