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Being Content With Who You Are

I read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in The Message recently and was struck by Eugene Peterson’s translation of Matthew 5:5: “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.”

The first thought that came to mind was another passage of Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39 ). Perhaps the most elementary point of this verse is that if I don’t love myself, and I am not content with who I am, my neighbor isn’t going to be very appreciative of my attempts at loving him.

But after reading Peterson’s translation, and pondering the idea of being content with who I am, I returned to Father with a follow up question concerning my identity in Christ. “Father, I readily agree with you about my identity in Christ and in your family—and am deeply appreciative—but the characteristics describing me are the same characteristics describing everyone in your family. Papa, who am I? Who is Preston Gillham in your eyes? How can I be content with who I am if I’m uncertain about my personal, unique identity as an individual?”

I grew quiet and began to listen to the thoughts that streamed into my mind from Father: Pres, the jealousy, bitterness, resentment, discontent, and entitlement you fight against is indicative of your failure to be content with who you are. You are attempting to gain contentment rather than being content. Stop striving and driving and pushing to prove yourself. Relax in who I have made you to be, no more, no less. It is only then that you will be content.

By being content with who I am, I become content with who He is. By being content with who He is, I become content with who I am. By being content with Him, and with me, I convey contentment to others—and the cycle continues of life in Christ being demonstrated through the manifestation of His grace.

How about you? Are you content with who you are? Or more fundamentally, have you asked Father to help you understand who you are?

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.