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We don’t have to let comparison, competition, coveting, or cynicism rob us of joy.

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12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

 

Paul understands both ends of the spectrum. He knows the end of plenty and abundance, as well as perhaps the more difficult end, where hunger and need call out everyday. Yet, he’s found a way to live in either circumstance, whether full of joy or sadness, plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Some of us move from end to end rather quickly. There are times in my day where I feel a great sense of accomplishment in the tasks I’ve finished. I feel happy when I’ve contributed to the good of my group or organization. Interestingly, after the initial moment of feeling great, my mind takes me to the place where I no longer feel so overjoyed or happy. This good feeling is soon displaced by some brand of sadness or failure and my smile dissipates. Brothers and sisters, this doesn’t have to be so!

Just as Paul learned to be content in both aspects of life, good and bad, we can learn to linger in the joyful times no matter the circumstance. We don’t have to let comparison, competition, coveting, or cynicism rob us of joy. We can all find things in our day we appreciate, but perhaps don’t recognize them as a small sliver of joy. As you go through your day, recognize these small moments and praise God for them. But, what will happen when you decide to leave one of them out? Your favorite coffee drink in the morning? The mid-afternoon snack you particularly enjoy? Perusing the mall or online shops? Choose to leave one thing out as a one-day fast to focus on learning to enjoy what you have and don’t have.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht

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