Abound and Abase
Philippians 4:11-12, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I learned,
in what-so-ever state I am, therewith to be content..."
I really would love to have a Mustang Convertible. It is my dream car.
To have the top down and to ride with the wind in my hair at speeds that police should never know about, yeah baby. But what I don't want is the car payment, the car insurance or the car taxes.
So, guess what, I don't have a Mustang Convertible. I can have one, but really, I don't want all the strings that come with it and that is where abounding and abasing come in.
What do you want more? Do you want to be able to pay the bills you must and have a few nice things you want and maybe a little money in the bank for a rainy day?
I bet you know what it is to be broke. I bet you know what it is to be penny-pinching. It is interesting that we don't know how to save money better.
Our flesh is often stronger than our emotions and when we want---we want whatever the cost.
What is it about self-gratification that we want things so instantly? I mean, do you really want your electric bill? Haha.
I know no one that gets excited when the power bill shows up or any other bill that is a "cost-of-living" bill. When they come, we feel the weight of the world; the weight of what must be. Affording them is often stressful and frequently comes with a lot of suffering.
Yet, there are some things we can never be prepared for.
Medical catastrophes such as cancer and other major medical disabilities leave us in a league of our own. It becomes difficult to rebound from such conditions and often put us on a course of poverty and living a life of less than we ever dreamed possible.
Most often, I truly believe that we just don't prepare to live. We don't prepare to make sure that we hit the responsibilities first, because it just doesn't feel good.
Saving up for the power or water bill just is not on our main track of thinking. I find it kind of crazy that even our wardrobe is quickly in need of updating within just a few years. I literally have clothes that I have had since high school, and I still wear them. I am not a trendy kind of girl. I like to look nice, but I am not willing to spend endless amounts of money to keep my clothes with someone else's name on them.
Don't get me wrong, I think there are many amazing designers out there, but the cost for little 'ole me...I would rather just stick to stores close to my home that make clothes I know look good on me.
I love black jeans and wear them twenty-nine out of thirty days a month. Now I don't want to be labeled as cheap. I can buy different clothes and dress up every day, but I would rather have money to help others. I would rather have that money to have a nice vacation, or really just be able to afford my regular bills without feeling stressed about it.
Paul shares in Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I learned,
in what-so-ever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be
abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things
I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul knew how to be content with whatever he had. Rather he was in need or not. Being grateful for what we have, for all we have, no matter how little or how much, everywhere and in all things is what Paul knew. Why don't we know?
I believe it is a choice! We must choose to be content with whatever we have, and with what God supplies us with. If we don't make this choice, and we choose to want more than we are capable or able to acquire then we are setting ourselves up for failure.
I don't know about you but failure is not on the top of my list. But it is difficult because in this current day, the world is out of control. The gas prices are consuming our extras right now. If you're a mom that needs baby formula, then you are figuring out how to do without what you would normally have at your fingertips.
I remember still today sitting on the front porch of my little house and having to give up. The economy had crashed and we couldn't sell our house and we had not prepared for this rainy day.
We are reminded in 1 Peter 5:10, that after you have suffered a while...he will make you perfect. It is not uncommon that we have to suffer first before we learn to make a different choice in order to keep choices in the right perspective.
Our flesh is often stronger than our emotions and when we want, we want at whatever the cost. But after we have suffered and God comes in and gives strength, settles us, and makes us perfect, life as a whole begins to take on a new light. Then we are more successful. If only we could learn this concept faster.