Friday, June 17, 2016

Contentment

Summer series "Friday's Summer Fruits" with Donna Oswalt
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good..." Psalm 34:8

Baptists Today is one series of Sunday School material and happens to be the lessons my Sunday School class uses. Nurturing Faith Journal and Bible Studies provides two months of lessons in addition to great articles relevant to church and  Christian community today. In the May/June 2016 issue, one such article "An Inside Job...What really brings contentment?" gives us a glimpse into the merging of psychology and theology! 

Extensive studies have proven that external circumstances...account for only 10 percent of a person's happiness. Martin Thielen, pastor of First United Methodist Church, Cookeville, TN
Thielen's article goes on to describe "10 attitudes and behaviors" of contented people that not only come from psychologists but also are found in the Bible.  
Contented people: know that external circumstances don't determine happiness; use trials as growth; cultivante optimism; focus on the present; practice forgiveness; practice generosity; nurture relationships; express gratitude; care for their bodies; care for their souls. Martin Thielenpastor of First United Methodist Church, Cookeville, TN
 So often Christianity and science act like enemies, but in this case they merge; they agree. The external circumstances - the world's definition of happiness: the right job, great income, good looks, and more - will never bring contentment. Thielen says, "Instead, contentment is an inside job." Consider this list. Do you have contentment? If not, maybe you can find new ways to be content! - dho


Martin Thielen serves as senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, Cookeville, Tennessee; he has a bachelor of arts, a master of divinity, and a doctor of ministry degree, along with a year of PhD coursework at Vanderbilt University. Writing for publication has long been an important part of Martin's ministry. He has written seven books, four of them on the subject of worship and preaching, and more than one hundred articles. His doctor of ministry project was "Ministering to Ministers through Writing." For further information about Martin, especially his passion for vocational ministry, read"Baptizing Babies and Burying Old Folks."