What would it take for you to be content? Would it involve money? If so, how much? Would it involve having a wish come true? If so, how many wishes would it take? Would your contentment revolve around resolving a broken relationship, a healed body, a family related restoration, a job-related issue… the list is endless – you fill in the blank_______________.
The word contentment is rarely used today because it goes against our cultural mandate to always strive for bigger and better things; always having greater aspirations that keep us continually obsessing about what is just beyond our reach. We see what others have and want to “Keep up with the Joneses” (I apologize to any Joneses out there). The thought of being content is criticized by some because they perceive that such a thought keeps one from striving toward greater heights and promotes the idea of satisfaction as a negative thought.
Contentment is associated with serenity; a tranquility or peace that supersedes societies push to always have a desire for more. It is fascinating to me that one of the most desired characteristic that people want is peace, tranquility and serenity. These desired attributes come at a cost, the cost of replacing societies mandate of the promoted idea of being consumed with a lust for more.
Contentment is a God centered grace that is developed over time. It is not something that comes naturally to us or is quickly or easily established in one’s life. The Apostle Paul stated that he “learned” the art of contentment. Paul advocates a satisfaction that has noting to do with what someone has or doesn’t have. The contentment he is promoting is centered beyond the pursuit of more, toward the presence of a person, Jesus the Christ. In Paul’s first letter to his protégé Timothy he advises him that the key to personal fulfillment comes from true godliness with contentment, resulting in the greatest gain a person can enjoy.
Contentment is a spiritual discipline in which we train ourselves to focus on God’s blessing to us through Jesus the Christ. How different would your attitude toward life be if you became intentional toward fixing your thoughts on each and every blessing of your life, compared to competing with the rest of humanity toward the endless pursuit of always needing more.
Today as you consider pausing at noon to Bend-A-Knee in prayer may you ask God to help you train yourself to constantly be overwhelmed by His blessings. May you focus on enjoying life as a gift to be relished, allowing you to be enveloped in serenity, tranquility and peace as a result of embracing the attitude of contentment. When the chaos of “striving” rages outside contentment allows for peace inside, isn’t that what you want…?
Stay connected to God & to others