Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Secret To Contentment

(Originally Published on Church Production)

From the seats in the back, you can hear it. Even from high up in a booth located above the seats or far in the back, this sound comes through. In some churches, you might hear a barrage. In others it's just a single volley. It sometimes occurs after a good song. Sometimes you hear it in the middle of the message. No, I'm not talking about a cough or a baby's cry. It's the word that has been a part of worship for thousands of years. It is “Amen.”

The Meaning of Amen

Maybe we've heard it and said it so often that we don't even think about it's use. Amen becomes almost a punctuation mark to our sentences. The barista at the coffee shop says, "Would you like whip cream on that?" You respond with a hearty, "Amen!"

"Amen, that soloist has the most amazing voice."

"We could use a better sound board, amen?"

Have you ever though that maybe we say "amen" too much? Or do we even understand what "amen' means. If we understand the meaning and what we are really saying, it should change more than our vocabulary. It should change our attitude. Especially in one area that many techies have a problem with - gear envy. You know, that nagging feeling you get when you see a new gadget that is better than what you already have or does something that yours doesn't.

The word Amen comes to us from a Hebrew word. The Jewish-born New Testament writers just borrowed it and transliterated it into the Greek. It means, "so be it", "truly", or "may it be fulfilled" but it is stronger. The root word means firm or sound. The Jews would read a certain passage of scripture in the synagogue and then they would shout, "Amen!" Saying to God a firm, "So be it Lord!" Or "May this be fulfilled!"

How to live Amen

This should be the way we approach our attitude with God in every aspect of life. We need to develop an "Amen Life." A life that just says to God, in every situation a firm, "So be it." Like Paul's attitude in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (ESV):

"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."

Paul had an Amen attitude. Whatever God brings our way, we just say, "Amen." For example, when we have gear envy, we see a great piece of equipment at a trade show and suddenly we think that what we have is not enough. We don't have contentment.

Another example is found in Philippians 4:12-13:

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

It's important to note that Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while he was in prison. In some of the worst conditions that we can image, and he said, "Amen." Think about it. Can we be in the worst of circumstances and feel content? That sounds like a challenge.

Take Amen with You

Bring this Amen Life into the booth with you and you will find less stress and have "great gain", as Paul said in the first passage. When things go wrong and the sound board does something you didn't expect or the video glitches, you can say, "Amen." Maybe you feel that gear envy but you know it something the church can't afford, you simply say, "Amen. I have exactly what you want me to have. So be it Lord."

Learn to live the Amen Life and bring this attitude into every thing you do and you begin to understand the life that God intended. You start to understand Paul's life. You can feel the stress fade, when you say "Amen!" 

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