My Journey to contentment.
As I slumped into a bean bag on my brother Mashawn’s floor, I prepared to share with him yet another litany of my tragic - frustrated life. I had just moved back from Los Angeles, CA with nowhere to live, no food to eat, and no money in my bank account. I was stressed, oppressed, depressed and had no idea how to grow in a life of contentment. Without a doubt, I could have been one of the most negative people in Mashawn’s life at that time — I even looked negative!
The scripture finally revealed to me — what we are on the inside, what we continually think about, eventually shows in our words, actions, and even on our countenances. My posture and facial expressions would plainly reveal that I lived my own interpretation of Philippians 4:8: “ Finally, Rashawn, whatever is untrue, whatever is not noble, whatever is not right, whatever is impure, whatever is unlovely, whatever is not admirable — if there is anything that is not excellent or worthy of praise — think about such things.” My life proved to be a living translation of my negative thinking.
Interestingly, many people would have glanced at my Instagram photos, twitter followers and reputation. And would have traded lives with me in an instant. The truth is: My life was truly far from tragic. God blessed me with good health, a strong figure that stayed that way without much effort, a beautiful girlfriend (at that time), a handsome son, and even a strong family to support me through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
My brother asked me why was I so unhappy when God had given me so many good things. Without hesitation I would sprouted off more complaints: First, God hasn’t given me a new house. I wanted to own my own place. I deserved it. I clearly was like a horse with blinders on, only seeing the dirty, rocky road ahead. I never raised my head to gaze upward to God or counted the blessings. My perspective was blurred, and I was filled with an ugly habit of discontentment.
Eternal Perspective Drives Contentment
What drives your life? While being convinced my life was meaningless. The problem came clear to me one day as I was reading the words of Solomon, The Bible says “I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy! (Ecclesiastes 4:4). Everyone’s life is driven by something. The definition of the verb drive is “to control, to guide, or to direct.”
Materialism drove me into a well of temporary happiness.
My desire to acquire became the whole goal of my life. The drive to always want more was based on an earthly perspective and a misconception that having more would make me happier, more secure, and more important, but each of them are untrue. Worldly possessions only provide temporary satisfactions. The best thing you can do for yourself and everyone around you is understand that things don't change, we eventually become bored with them and then we desire the newer, better, bigger versions.
The biggest lie we could say to ourselves is if acquire more, I will be more powerful. Self worth and net worth are not the same. Your value in this world is not determined by your valuables, and Jesus says the most valuable things in life are not things at all!
Real security never came from a job, but from God.
Eternal security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you — your relationship with Jesus.
Perhaps you wonder why you lost your job recently? Losing a job is rarely seen as a good thing, especially since financial pressures are often prevalent and there's often tremendous tensions in the marriage and family concerning work. If you've recently lost your job, don't blame God but trust His promises to provide for all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (See Philippians 4:19)
Some put there trust in Lawyers, Some put there trust in Doctors, and some put there trust in Employers. But as for us we will put our trust in the Lord Almighty. The One who created the world and everything in it. He is faithful and just to provide for our vision that He placed in our hearts way before the world began. #TrustHisProvision -Rashawn Copeland
Many people are just trying to win approval from people.
This was definitely me. We can allow the expectations of our family or friends or mentors or teachers to control our lives. Have you ever tried to earn the approval of unpleasable people. What about winning the approval of God?
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” - (Galatians 1:10)
This verse became one of my favorites. I once heard a man say “Those who follow the crowd get lost in it.” Talk about a perspective changer. I have no idea what it takes to be successful in this world, but I know by trial and error that one key to failure is to try to please and appease everyone. We were sent to earth not to just suck up oxygen, but to live out God’s predestined purposes for our lives. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.”
The only force that should drive your hearts contentment is an eternal perspective that is guided, controlled, and directed by God’s purposes for your life. Nothing matters more than getting our hearts focus off the dead end: unfulfilled life, unnecessary anxiety, untapped potential. The reality of having an understanding of God’s way of seeing things, versus the way we view or lives and evaluate what is important — easily an eternal perspective changes everything!