Achievement and Contentment

This week during chapel, I asked our upper school students if they could think of a Bible verse they have seen printed on coffee mugs, posters, memes, Steph Curry’s basketball shoes, etc. Right away one of the students said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  

I reminded the students that it can be tricky business taking a single verse out of the Bible and plastering it on your shoes, mugs, and social media accounts. It is important to understand the context of the verse, particularly who wrote it, to whom it was written, and what was the author’s current locale/circumstance. 

Paul, awaiting martyrdom in a Roman prison, penned these words, not after winning the big football game or securing a lucrative TV contract for his ministry. Paul wasn’t focused on achievement but contentment. Our culture today holds up many idols, two of which are achievement and comfort. Only with Jesus do we have access to His supernatural power of contentment and the capacity to endure all things. Contentment and endurance are the antithesis to the idols of achievement and comfort. 

One student asked, is it wrong then to quote this verse after a victory or is it wrong for Steph Curry to have this verse embossed on his shoes? Good question! I replied no, and in all things what God is concerned about is our heart and our motivation. Can we still proclaim this verse after a loss? Yes, because through Jesus we can endure all things.

Inspired by 'With God Daily Devotional' by Skye Jethani.