The Line Between Contentment and Ambition

If ambition has been converted from a vice to a virtue, contentment has been transformed from a virtue into a vice.  Think of how we use the word in normal conversations.  It has come to mean settling for second best (which is always wrong).  Lacking sufficient ambition, one is content to be something less than what he or she is capable of being.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 127

The Cure for Selfish Ambition and Restless Devotion

The cure for selfish ambition and restless devotion to The Next Big Thing is contentment.  But like happiness, excellence and drive, contentment is not something you can just generate from within.  It has to have an object.  There must be someone or something that is so satisfying that we can sing “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.”

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 123

Is There Really Nothing to Do?

It is the idea that we can do nothing but trust that is particularly troubling to me.  I believe with the psalmist – and Nehemiah and Paul – would say, “Man’s part is to trust and work.”  Or perhaps it is more helpful to say, “Our part is to work, but to do so in reliance upon God to enable us to work.”  God’s work does not make our effort unnecessary, but rather makes it effective.  Paul did not say, “Christ shows contentment through me.”  Rather he said, “I have learned to be content through Him who gives me strength.”

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 133

What True Contentment Springs From

If you don’t have contentment now, buying will never answer your need.  True contentment springs from the ability to put your own concerns second and to express love for others by giving.

– Haggai, Dr. John E, The Influential Leader: 12 Steps to Igniting Visionary Decision Making, copyright 2009, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, page 81