Contentment

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It’s a problem going back to the beginning of creation. Adam and Eve had it all, everything they could want or need. Yet they got caught up by the one thing they couldn’t have. They weren’t satisfied or content, they wanted just a little more. Like a sneaky snake in the garden, discontentment creeps into my life also. It usually starts with something small and slowly crowds the satisfaction that was once there. When our perspective shifts from gratefulness to greediness, we begin to take many of our blessings for granted.

Recently I found myself in a spiral of wanting more. It started, as it often does, with wanting new clothes. It quickly snowballed into more. Before long I was looking around and noticing all the things I didn’t have. Instead of feeling happier after each purchase, I felt emptier. God knows how serious it is when we become consumed with wanting more. He knows how quickly that way of living can come in and choke the life out of us. Whether we’re dissatisfied about clothes, relationships, houses, careers (or lack thereof), or many other things, He wants us to learn to be content in every situation. I believe the remedy of discontentment is gratitude. When we focus in and give Him thanks for all we have, it helps keep our heart grateful. The process of physically writing down things I appreciate helps remind me and make the blessings more tangible. Also, instead of seeking for happiness in new things, I need to be looking to His word and seeking Him to find it. I know He has the only source of happiness that will truly satisfy.
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Regularly, I need to be checking the condition of my heart and trying to keep it in line with thankfulness. Living contently is such a peaceful way to live. And if I’m honest with myself, it’s exhausting trying to find contentment in all these other ways. In I Timothy 6:6 it says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” That is the kind of wealth I want, just to be content to be in God’s presence. It’s a constant challenge to learn how to live contently. But I love what Paul says in Philippians 4:12-13, “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.”

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