“Whensoever a man desireth aught above measure, immediately he becometh restless. The proud and the avaricious man are never at rest; while the poor and lowly of heart abide in the multitude of peace.
For true peace of heart is to be found in resisting passion, not in yielding to it. And therefore, there is no peace found in the heart of a man who is carnal, nor in him who is given up to the things that are without him, but only in him who is fervent towards God and living the life of the Spirit.”
(The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis, The First Book, page 9)
So many people keep circling around these days as they try to pursue contentment. Media pushes us to seek happiness and pleasure in homes, cars, vacations, clothing, food, and relationships. Yet once obtained, we often still find ourselves discontented or disappointed, wondering what should be next.
This author has a way of making me think. Desires and affections. Let’s be honest – we all have them. What is the exhortation this writer brings to us?
- Keep our desires in check. Any time we are desiring something excessively, we need to stop and take stock. Paul in writing to the Philippians brings this reminder, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11, NLT).
- Contentment is learned. As we take resist those urges for more, we begin to enjoy and rest in that which we already have. He teaches us to see the blessings and not the lack.
- He alone gives true peace of heart. He will still us as He brings His peace and stability and satisfies our longings. In yielding to our wants, we only want more. He alone fulfills our wants and satisfies us to want no more.
“Jesus replied, ” ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.’ ” (Matthew 22:37-38, NLT)
Peace comes from loving God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind.
Peace comes to the one “who is fervent towards God and living in the Spirit.”
May we pray for God to continually fan the flame in our heart.