All throughout my Christian walk, I’ve been taught to be content.
“Be content with what you have.”
“Be content with where God has placed you.”
Even a multitude of Bible verses address contentment in Christ:
“But godliness with content is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6–10),
“… be content with what you have …” (Heb. 13:5),
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil. 4:11).
The list could go on and on.
Recently, my idea of contentment has been radically transformed.
But let’s start simple. What does it mean to be “content”?
According to the Oxford dictionary, contentment is a “state of happiness and satisfaction.”
Is this definition appropriate for the biblical interpretation of “contentment”? I think so. I might substitute “joy” for “happiness,” but I think it covers it really well. Contentment is being satisfied with what we have, who we are and where we’re going, knowing all things have been ordained and given by God.
Here’s my hiccup: I’ve always sought contentment in the good gifts God has given me in this world — my job, my house, my family, my friends — but I struggled to actually find contentment.
Why? Because I was looking for contentment in all the wrong places. I was still searching for contentment among the things of this world — things tainted by sinful nature.
Who is the only One not tainted by this fallen world? God. He is the only One who can offer me contentment. He is sufficient.
Instead of looking for satisfaction in the people, places and things God has put in my life, why don’t I look directly to Him? God is the only One who will never fail.
The gifts of this world come from God. The gifts of this world reflect God. But we must not let them become god.
God’s love, grace, compassion, patience and mercy are sufficient for me. They are sufficient for you. We don’t need to look anywhere but to Him for contentment and satisfaction. God is eternal, almighty and limitless — He is sufficient yesterday, today and forever.