Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 11 Contentment in Whatever Situations

Consider the following taken from Chapter 14 of the Book of the Doctrine of the Mean 中庸:

The wise man acts according to the position and situation he is in; he does not desire to go beyond this (by crossing boundaries into others territories). In wealth and honor, he does what is right in the position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Among barbarians, he does what is right among barbarous tribes. In sorrow and difficulty, he does what is right in the state of sorrow and difficulty.
The wise man will be contented with whatever the situation he finds himself in.
In a high position, he does not ill treat his inferiors. In a low position, he does not carry the favor of his superiors. He corrects himself, and does not expect others to give favors to him, so that he has no complains. He does not blame Heaven above, nor men below.
Thus the wise man is at peace listening and waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky breaks.
Compare the the following from Paul's writing:
Php_4:11  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 

2Co_12:10  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1Co 9:19  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  22  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
There are few key lessons for us:
  1. We are to be contented in whatever situations we find ourselves in. The least is not to complain nor to blame others for our situations. Complaining and blaming others are common reactions from people but we are different. We are citizens of Heaven and live differently from others.
  2. We are to stay at peace and be calm to listen to and to discover God's will in this situation for us.
  3. Paul tells us to bring God's strength and grace to the situation, especially when it is a bad and difficult situation. Paul says when he is weak than he can be strong because God can work through him. We brings God into any situation we face even when we are rich so that we can use the influence for good.
  4. The right behavior for the Situation. We are in a particular situation to bring God's grace into the situation. In riches and honors to reach out to the rich. In low and poor to reach out to them. Sent to the barbarians to reach-out to them. Find out what God you to do in your present situation.
  5. Don't try to take risks to break out of the situation. Just do well in your present position. When you have accomplished your mission there, God will promote you.
  6. It takes some reflection on our behavior too. Is there any errors that I need to correct? Is there any area where I need to improve? We can ask for help but don't blame and don't demand others to help you. Let others help you willingly. God will give you wisdom and God will send the right ones to help you. Must most important of all, it begins with ourselves. Are we wiling to learn and change?
  7. Have the patience. Do whatever is best in your present situations. Trust that God will promote you. The time will come. We are content to be whatever situation we are in and we are always ready to grow up and go into another situation that God has planned for us.
For more like these see Chinese Classics & The Bible
and also The Principles for Greatness: #3 Contented Yet Be Better

Lim Liat copyrighted 1 Oct 2011

No comments: