I read a statistic the other day that said if one has a roof over his head and a meal on his table he is richer than 93 percent of the world’s population. If a person wears a pair of shoes he is richer than 75 percent of the people in the world. (ref.) Statistics like these blow me away with a realization of just how blessed I am. If you are reading this post today, chances are you are wearing a pair of shoes and have a roof over your head. We are so blessed. And yet often so discontent. Why is that? Why are we not satisfied with where we are and what we have?
Contentment comes in several forms. First we can discuss being content with the material things we possess in this world. Our house, our clothes, the car we drive, the toys our kids have, the vacations we take. One of the wisest and richest men we meet in the Bible, Solomon, knew about contentment.
Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless. -Ecclesiastes 5:10
Why do we feel the need to keep up with Ms. Jones? I don’t think I like her very much anyway! The point here is this, there will always be another do-dad or trinket out there that is sure to make our life better. There is always more money to make and nicer “things” to acquire. But what are we saying to our God, and to our children, when we chase after these things? Whether it is intentional or not, our actions say, “You are just not enough for me.” Jesus Himself tells us,
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well – Matthew 6:32-22
Learning to be content with the material things we have is a requirement for living the Christian life. It just is. God is very clear on this point, that we must seek Him first. Throughout scripture we can find story after story that shows how God cares for His people when they put their trust in Him to provide for their needs. The desire to have more on this earth is a human desire, it is not of God. We must understand this desire and call it out for what it is before it poisons not only our life, but that of our children.
A second type of contentment we can experience is a contentment with where we are spiritually in life. Where are we on the path God has called us to? What type of “Christian” are we? Sandy is a much better mom than I am. . . Barbra is a much better church member than me . . . Jane prays for hours every day, and I only squeeze in 3 minutes before falling asleep at night. Do you see it? Comparison sneaks in here and all of a sudden we experience frustration and disappointment that we are not where we think we should be in our walk with God. This is an area I think a lot of us struggle with and it has taken me a while to really get nestled in the middle of this life and feel good about it.
Here is the thing. You and I, we are in different places spiritually in our lives. We are gifted in different areas. We are learning different things. We are on different paths. I have met women who accepted Christ five days ago and they appear to me to be spiritually wise beyond their years. And yet I have met women who have been Christians for 50 years, who are still drinking from the spiritual milk bottle as a new believer would. We are all different, called differently, made differently, and we all have a different identity and relationship with our King. Isn’t that amazing? Not only did He create us in His image, yet unique, but He also desires to have a specific and unique relationship with each one of us! My walk with Him is not the same as yours. And that is a beautiful thing my friend! It isn’t supposed to look the same!
There is an important difference here I want you to note between contentment in where you are with God and just being lazy and stale in your relationship with Him. Don’t confuse contentment with an easy way out! Being content in your relationship with Him means you are constantly pursuing Him, relying on Him, learning about Him, and living each day in the presence of who He is and who you are not. The apostle Paul tells us,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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 everything through Him who gives me strength – Philippians 4:12-13
And the writer of Hebrews tells us,
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? – Hebrews 13:5-6
This is the picture of contentment we should be striving for. It’s about trust. It’s about priorities. It’s laying aside comparison and what others may think. It’s about God. Do you love Him enough to put your trust in Him? Even if it means you could lose everything? It’s that big my friends. It’s that hard and that easy all at the same time. It’s what we are called to. Greater is He who is living in me than he who is in the world.
Contentment. It’s a decision. A daily decision we will have to make each morning when we rise. A daily portion of contentment to get through one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the what ifs and the big picture of things you have no control over. Start with today. Today I will be content with both what I have and who I am. Not settling for anything less than who He created me to be. Today I will trust in Him. I will lean into Him. I will believe Him for who He says He is. He is big enough to fill all my needs and more.
If contentment is something you struggle with, let’s walk this journey together. Staying accountable to a friend is one of the best ways to experience growth. Comment or message me and we can do this together. You don’t have to walk through this life alone! With all the love He give me . . . Jen
This post is linked up with Me, Coffee, and Jesus