We all can relate to learning the alphabet.  Our little ones starting off to school this fall and coming home with pages of “letters” they focused on during the week brings back memories.  The usual ‘A’ is for apple seems to be universal.

As a follower of Christ, I am challenged to focus on an alphabet composed only of the letter “C.”  Obviously, “Christ” begins with that letter, and the other C words are as follows:

Competition

Comparison

Complaint

Covet

Confession

Contentment

Congratulations

In today’s hectic life, it is so easy to get caught up in the views of others around us that we don’t even realize we’ve been snared in the web of the world.  Our kids get thrown into “competition” and “comparison” before they’ve even learned what those words mean.  Every sport, every dance class, every concert feeds into the problem.  We think we’re giving our children a chance to find their individual “niche” and feel good about themselves, and they can end up feeling inadequate, clumsy, or “not-as-good-as” others.

Besides that, the complaint of not having what others have falls on our shoulders as well.  We unconsciously many times think if we only had such-and-such things would be better.  Our offspring pick up on that, too, and hear it all day long with classmates.  Who got the newest iPhone or iPod Touch, or the better running shoes or the best brand hockey stick.

You name it, and we all can covet it.  That’s another “C” word:  covet.  It surpasses jealousy and becomes sin, because we may all wish for something and be jealous of what others might have; but coveting something means you not only wish you had it, but you wish the other person didn’t have it.  You put your own desires above everything.

I have found the only path out of this alphabet of Cs is to “Confess” to Christ that I am stuck in the views of the world and call out to Him to help me have “Contentment” in Him.

The Apostle Paul told us he had “learned to be content” in whatever state he was in…sometimes in prison!  Can you imagine being content in a small, dirty and cold cell?  In chains?

Learning contentment in our life’s situations is absolutely one of the hardest things to do, because those who surround us daily are usually doing the exact opposite.  Everyone seems to be striving for more, better and better, newer and newer.  Every administrator or boss, every commercial on TV, every ad in the paper, and often coaches and instructors are subconsciously urging us or our children on that quest.

I am going to urge us on to learn contentment and run toward Christ, who will reward us for the race to His way of life with eternal “Congratulations!”   I pray we will earnestly learn the “C” letters each Christian should value: Christ, Contentment and the final “Congratulations, well done, good and faithful servant.”

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