Knowing When And How To Be Content
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Today’s lesson is about contentment. I would like to first ask you a few questions that will help you to determine your level of contentment.
1. Do you struggle to have peace in your life?
2. Are you always reaching for bigger and better, or are you satisfied with what God has provided for you?
3. Do you often think when this happens or when I get this I will be happy?
4. Do you find yourself complaining a lot?
5. Are you jealous of what others have?
If you are answering yes to any or all of these questions, you are not living in a place of contentment.
In the society that we live in today, there is always the pressure to have more and to be more. Please hear my heart on this. It is a good thing for us to strive to be the best that we can be. There is nothing wrong with having goals that will take you to the next level in your life. However, when this quest for more causes us to sin, by worrying or being jealous of others, or grumbling and complaining, it means that we are starting to be ungrateful for what God has already blessed us with. Ingratitude causes discontentment.
May I be transparent for a minute? Years ago I had a career as an Interior Designer. I was blessed to go in some of the most beautiful homes imaginable. I remember starting to crave the lifestyles that I was constantly seeing. I became discontent with what I had already been blessed with. I wanted the big house and the luxury cars and the designer bags and the clothes too, that went with it all. As I have matured in my walk with God, I now realize that I wanted success for all of the wrong reasons. It wasn’t about anyone but me. I even remember being a bit jealous of those who were living the life that I dreamed of. How sad it must have made God, to see me so ungrateful when He had already blessed me with so much.
So you may be asking, what did I do to go from discontentment to contentment and live a life of total peace? To answer your question, for many years now I have been keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, I write down the things that I am most grateful, for that day. This habit has literally changed my life.
My focus has shifted from the frustration of what I don’t have to be grateful for what I do have. It has helped me to even be more appreciative of the very small things. I now look to see the blessing as well as the lesson in everything, and that even includes the things that most would consider difficult or unfair. It has been amazing to see that when I stopped worrying about many of these things, God blessed me with them anyway. Through spending time with God, reading His word, and journaling, I can honestly say I am no longer the same person that I was years ago, and I praise God for that! So today if you are not in a place of contentment, stop looking at the person in the mirror, and start looking up. When you start to focus on God, peace will flood in like a river, and all of a sudden your perspective will start to shift and your dreams will start to align with God’s will for your life. Don’t forget, look up!
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
2 Corinthians 12:10
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.