Something To Ponder Over
from Revd Alistair Jessamine

… I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith
to be content – Philippians 4.11 King James Version

Contentment is an attitude of mind well worth cultivating inasmuch as it contributes to a distinct peace of mind. Discontent, on the other hand, produces only frustration and irritation.

The Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece recognised that and urged contentment and resignation in the midst of life’s challenges and trials.

Saint Paul encountered the Stoic philosophy and way of life in his travels and ministry and may even have borrowed from Stoicism as he sought to make the Christian message relevant to his Greek converts in Philippi and elsewhere throughout the ancient world.

Stoicism indeed is a very noble creed in its insistence on calm resignation and contentment in the face of human woe and misfortune. And Saint Paul, as I say, recognised that.

There is undoubtedly a large measure of discontent in these present days on account of the Covid 19 situation in relation to which many are experiencing frustration and irritation over the ongoing restrictions. But it is far better, so it seems to me, for us in the Church to back Saint Paul in this matter and to embrace his advice to cultivate that very contentment which can soften our anxieties and provide us with renewed vigour as we each continue to live our daily lives.


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