by Melita Holden
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
I Timothy 6:6-8
Being content is an easy state of mind to live in, right? I mean, doesn’t being content mean you live in a nice home, drive a nice car, have a good job, and go to church on Sunday? What could be so hard about being content?
The world we live in is an ever changing place. The styles are always changing. The fads come and go faster than I even have time to blink. Our speech and the words we use even change.
It seems like the “pursuit of happiness” just grows. It’s exhausting to even try to keep up with your neighbors. Or what hits home more, the friends you go to church with and the people you follow on social media.
Today, I’d just like to give you a few tips on staying content in our discontent world.
1. Focus on Christ, Not on Others.
Too many times we become discontent with the material things in our lives. Society teaches us to want things that are bigger, better, newer, faster, and more expensive. Because of this, we never feel that what we have is enough. And it almost becomes a prison to too many people.
In a world of social media and the perfect lives of Pinterest, everyone seems to always have their best face forward. Which, I might add, is not a bad thing. I don’t feel like that we need to show people all the negative in our life.
It’s important for us to remember though, we must not compare the best of others to our worst.
Jealousy and discontentment often go hand and hand. That’s why it is imperative for us to find our true contentment in Christ. When we become so consumed with God's grace and mercy and His blessings in our lives, it makes it easy for us to be genuinely happy for the success of others. I must add, this is where the definition of content really can be put into play. Content: in a state of peaceful happines
2. This World is Temporary.
Throughout Scripture, we’re challenged to remember that this world and all the material things that go with it are going to perish. Everything in this life will one day fade away, and the only one thing that will remain is our relationship with Jesus.
1 Timothy 6:6-8, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
In order to really know true contentment, we have to realize that only a true relationship with Christ will fill the empty space in our life. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to look to Christ, and allow our lives to be focused on the One we are living this life for. The truth is, contentment has very little to do with having what we want, and everything to do with wanting what we have.
When we take the time to thank God for what we’ve been given, our blessings take on a whole new meaning in our lives.
We need to focus on having a heart of gratitude rather than focusing on all the “things” we don’t have. Our perspective is so important in the life of contentment because it colors the lens through which we see all of life. We need to have a heart of thankfulness unto Christ for what He has blessed us with.
One man once said, “What if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday?”
3. Don’t Live in the Past.
Without even realizing it, we often talk about how it could have been different in the past, rather than experiencing the present. It’s easy to wish and beat ourselves up over the yesterdays, because we have a new day and new perspective on the situation. This reminds me of Matthew 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
We can never fully appreciate our today when all of our focus is on our yesterdays.
The enemy wants to use our past to fill us with regrets, doubts, and hopelessness, because he knows that this kind of guilt will paralyze us into never enjoying God's blessings today. But we need to stop and appreciate all that God has done for us. Listen to His precious voice in our time of prayer telling us to slow down, stop looking at others, stop looking into the past, and put our focus back on Him. This is where and when we find true contentment.
No matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve been through, God promises that by His power, Spirit, and strength, true contentment can be obtained in your life every single day. Though it may take a shift in perspective and maybe a change of heart at times, true contentment will give you the ability to live everyday in happiness and the peaceful state God wants us to live in.
Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”