Christmas and the New Year are upon us. December is a month of events, celebrations,
festivities, and gift-giving. Amid the busyness of the season, we can get easily caught
up in stress and miss the joy that Christmas time can offer us. Becoming overwhelmed
by the wanting of gifts and food can cause discontentment and throw out of balance
our physical and spiritual health.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the
circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or
hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me
strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13

It can be incredibly tempting to get pulled into wanting more and more things. The
newest appliances, cars, clothes, vacations – you name it – are constantly vying for our
attention and desires. We feel the need to give the best gifts, to have the most things,
and to keep up with the trends and what people around us own.

At the same time, holiday meals catch our attention. And, I think it is fair to say that
anyone loves a good, festive meal. But, it can be the same as the former issue.
Self-control at holiday meals can become incredibly difficult – we want to eat everything,
or perhaps we want to create the best, most memorable meal for others. But, as we
know, over-indulgence is not productive for physical health or wellness, despite the
short-lived good feelings we may experience at the moment.

This world is a constant cycle of wanting and craving more. But in the end, the more we
gain, the more we will desire, the more jealousy we’ll experience, and the more
discontent we will grow. What if there was something to be said for contentment?
The book of Philippians was written by the apostle Paul. It is known as the happiest
book of the Bible, and in the passage above, he writes about contentment in every
circumstance. But would you know that he wrote the letter we now read in the Bible
while he was in prison? Paul was persecuted, alone, without any belongings, and
eventually spent his final days in prison. Yet, he writes about contentment and joy.

Throughout the holidays and truly, throughout all of life, it is impossible to have
everything that you want. Yet, to be truly healthy, contentment is a crucial principle. To
spend your whole life chasing what everyone else has will only lead to anxiety and
discontentment. As tempting as it may be throughout the holidays and on to be trapped
in discontentment, the choice to be thankful for what you have and are is worth it.

In life, there is room for growth, for building health and wellness, and for gaining wealth.
Pursue these things as it is healthy and beneficial – but don’t make them your all! In
being grateful for all that you already have, you may quickly come to find that you have
more than you already knew.

““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about
your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than
clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can
any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about
clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you
that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how
God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the
fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
Matthew 6:25-30 NIV

By: Mackenzie Grace @walkingingraceandfaith