1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing. We will be content with that.”
Contentment. Good old Webster’s 1828 describes it as: a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet. Content, in the same dictionary, means literally: held, contained within limits; hence, quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to refine, object or oppose.
It is something we, as followers of Christ, struggle with in today’s world. Our society encourages a “more, more, more” attitude, while Christ encourages a “be content” mindset. A lot of the time it is more money that we want. Sometimes it is more affection or attention that we want. Sometimes we want recognition for all our hard work. Sometimes we want more alone time.
Plain and simple – we want too much. “Want” is the key here. In America, we, for the most part, have way more than we need. We are prosperous, yet we think we need more. You know, I heard on the radio, one time, a saying: if you woke up tomorrow and only had what you had been thankful for today, what would you have? For most of us, we probably wouldn’t have very much. We are too busy wanting more to be thankful for what we have today.
What causes this discontentment? We loose our focus. We begin focusing on our problems or focusing on the things of this world instead of focusing on God. It is so easy to get caught up in the perceived dissatisfactions of life. We think we have it so hard. Look around you, friend. I guarantee it will take you all of 5 minutes to find someone else with a harder time than you. Satan uses this self pity to get us to forget God. He wants us to forget our blessings, to forget everything that God has done for us and rather to focus on what we don’t have and think that we need.
And then when we decide that we are going to stop the discontentment, Satan tries to tell us we are giving up. Oh, so you have decided that you are going to be happy with what you have, then look at all you are giving up. You don’t have to live without, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Contentment is not giving up. It is being satisfied with what God has given you and looking for ways to share it. Do you really need that new piece of furniture? Do you really need to go on that expensive vacation? You just ate a half of chicken, do you really need dessert? Contentment in all things. Contentment with the stuff around us. Contentment with the food we have. Contentment with living in the moment.
Does contentment mean that we quit moving forward? By no means! We are told to keep growing. Keep getting closer to God. Don’t stop. But don’t want more and more along the way. Let the blessings of God fall upon you and be at peace. Watch God show you a more amazing life to live – for Him.