Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Here is a philosopher’s dilemma. One verse says to be content – the other talks about strict training to achieve a goal. One says be free while the other talks about competition and winning.
How does anyone win a race without training, diet and discipline? How does anyone win without a goal and striving to be the best? No one has ever won an Olympic medal by saying “I am content with my ability”. No one succeeds at business without a plan to succeed.
Do we strive to have a “happy mix”? Are we in training or should we just be content?
How about spiritual issues: Should we strive to be more faithful and more like Jesus or do we stay content with our current nature?