A recent article from Christian Counseling Associates gives us a valuable insight on how our attitudes can influence our happiness. We live in a land of great abundance. It would make sense that with all the opportunity and resources that are available to us, one would have a great sense of satisfaction. Instead, we find this culture of abundance to be very challenging. Because we have so many choices and so many possibilities, it is easy to develop an attitude of coveting. It is easy to want more and more.
Contentment = satisfaction with God’s sufficient provision.
For those who struggle with any emotional problem or life challenge, developing an attitude of contentment can be part of the healing process. We must search our heart for a covetous attitude, and replace it with contentment.
In the New Testament – 1 Timothy 6:6 – 10 shows us the biblical path to contentment,
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.“
Here is a two-step path to contentment:
1) Always be unsatisfied with the quality of your character. Ask the question, “how can I become more like Jesus today?” Choose to want more and more the character traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
2) Always be satisfied with what you have. 1 Timothy 6:8 states, “but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” We must trust God that what He has provided is sufficient. God will give us what we truly need to walk with Him. Walking with Him is enough.
Learn from example. Henry Ford said at the end of his life, “I was happier as a boy working in a mechanic shop, though we had nothing.” Fulfillment is not found in our earthly possessions. We can strive our whole lives for these things, but in the end we have to give it all back. Therefore, it is natural that possessions and success will not satisfy at the heart level. Jesus taught us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).” If we have food to eat and a roof over our head, we can choose be content. When we learn to loosen our grip on temporary things, we can value what is permanent – eternity in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
This week commit to seeking contentment as a lifestyle. Pray to God with an attitude of contentment, saying “Lord I have enough, thank you for what You have provided!” Choose a lifestyle that reflects contentment in what you already have. Seek godliness and contentment and you will gain greatly.