Monday Morning Quarterbacking

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Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I was thinking about the quote I read from the Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs classic, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment this past sermon and I thought I should share the extended quote below. If you are not familiar with them, Puritans like Burroughs get a bad rap as ‘stodgy, judgmental’ folks, but if you read dig into them, there is a lot of wisdom to be found in their writings. The writing style is not modern, which turns some people away, but if you stick with them I find they have a lot to say to us today. That’s certainly true of The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, which is a much needed corrective to our over-saturated, over-entertained, and dis-contented culture. To be happy and content no matter what is going on in life because we are resting on Christ is an enormous gift of God’s grace in this life. Enjoy! 

So he comes to this contentment by way of subtraction, and not addition.

Another man is in a mean position, his circumstances are low and his heart is low too, so that his heart and his circumstances are even. This man walks with abundantly more ease than the other. Thus a gracious heart thinks in this way: ‘The Lord has been pleased to bring down my circumstances; now if the Lord brings down my heart and makes it equal to my circumstances, then I am well enough.’ So when God brings down his circumstances, he does not so much labor to raise up his circumstances again as to bring his heart down to his circumstances. Even the heathen philosophers had a little glimpse of this: they could say that the best riches is poverty of desires-those are the words of a heathen. That is, if a man or woman have their desires cut short, and have no large desires, that man or woman is rich. So this is the art of contentment: not to seek to add to our circumstances, but to subtract form our desires. Another author has said, “The way to be rich is not by increasing wealth, but by diminishing our desires”. Certainly that man or woman is rich, who have their desires satisfied. Now a contented man has his desires satisfied, God satisfies them, that is, all considered, he is satisfied that his circumstances are for the present the best circumstances. So he comes to this contentment by way of subtraction, and not addition.

Interested in more? You can browse for free the pdf, or here is a link to the book