“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 MSG)
To be truly content is a great gift.
Imagine it: to have just enough; to have no niggles of frustration or secret irritations or driving impulses…
The dictionary defines content as “A state of peaceful happiness.” Shakespeare described it as the highest goal: “My Crown is call’d Content, A Crown it is, that seldom Kings enjoy.”
According to this verse, the opposite “putting on airs,” thinking more of yourself than is real, feeding a fantasy picture of who you really are.
But how do you become content?
Peter makes it simple: it’s by the recognition of God in your life.
There are three attributes of God that makes the contented life possible.
“God’s strong hand is on you.” God’s strength is very reassuring! Daddy stands with his four year old at the side of a busy main road. His steady, secure grip is on the child’s shoulder. I will not be afraid. I am safe. It doesn’t mean the absence of danger; only the presence of the one who keeps me safe. “I will fear no evil, for my God is with me.” His strong hand is on me. I’m content.
He will promote me “at the right time.” One of the great causes of discontent is that feeling of missed opportunity. You think that something is just out there and you have to grab for it. It’s called striving. It’s a great enemy of your peace of mind. But the verse says something interesting: God will promote me “at the right time.” If I can trust his strength in times of danger, I can trust his wisdom to know just when the right time is!
If I truly believed that…if I really took it to heart, that my life is his business and I’m his child, then I am content that the future is in his hands, and I don’t have to grab, greedily, to make sure I get my share.
- Gentle love.
He is “most careful” with me. That’s a lovely thing, isn’t it? He is not bruising or bullying. He is most careful. He is a good, good parent.
Because of his strength, I need fear no danger. Because of his wisdom, I need worry about no missed opportunity. Because of his gentle love, I can be assured that every need will be met. He is “most careful” with me!
In the older versions of this verse it reads: “Cast all your anxieties on him. He cares for you.” ALL
And that’s content. That’s the carefree life.