“Our Gang” was a series of short comedy films in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s that later became known through television as “The Little Rascals.” The group of kids known as “The Little Rascals” was also featured in a 1994 film of the same name.
Many of the boys in the group met in a clubhouse and became part of an exclusive club known as The He-Man Woman Haters Club. Having been initiated into this club, the boys had to commit to not like, hang out, or have contact with girls. This proved especially challenging for one boy named Alf-Alfa, who had a fondness for a young girl named Darla. Because of his fondness for Darla, he had to keep his membership in The He-Man Woman Haters Club a secret from her and his contact with Darla a secret from the club.
As was discovered in part 3 (Levering Contentment) of CCC’s Stuck? series, feeling stuck in life is not an exclusive or secret club. If there is a secret club surrounding feeling stuck, it seems to be those who are able to navigate them and still leverage contentment.
The central figures of the early church, including the church leader, Paul were no strangers to adversity. Yet they were able to navigate them in such a way as to not draw a disconnect between challenging circumstances and a good God.
One season of challenging circumstances Paul found himself in was having been arrested and placed in prison under the Roman Emperor, Nero. When it seemed there was nothing he could do, Paul wrote letters to churches. In one of them, he revealed a secret he had learned about leveraging contentment.
Check out the secret in Philippians 4:10-13 and consider the following questions about leveraging contentment in circumstances in which it’s easy to feel stuck.
- Have you ever been a part of a secret club? If so, what kind of club was it?
- Have you ever been excluded from a secret club? If so, did you want to be a part of the club (and why or why not)?
- When we feel stuck, why is it important to know that someone cares about us?
- How is it different when someone doesn’t care versus when someone cares but doesn’t have the opportunity to express that care?
- Why do you think it’s easier to be grateful when we are in need rather than when we have plenty?
- How would you describe contentment?
- Would you describe contentment differently when you feel stuck?
- Why is contentment so challenging when you feel stuck?
- What are some specific circumstances you find it difficult to be content?
- What do you think Paul means when he writes that he is given strength through Jesus?
- How does strength beyond circumstances enable us to withstand the circumstances without feeling stuck?
- What next steps will you take to leverage contentment when you feel stuck?
Circumstances – of plenty or of want – do not have to determine how we navigate them or our relationship with God. Instead we can lean into strength that comes through God’s grace enables us to leverage contentment. Everyone has been initiated into the club of feeling stuck – learning the secret of contentment in any and every circumstance is a game-changer!
Today is Monday – make it a day you learn how to leverage contentment – whether you feel stuck or not!