The idea of contentment is like looking at a big elephant and knowing you have to eat it in one bite! Am I right? Our culture is constantly sending us messages of how to look better, feel better, be younger, smarter, and more creative. We have big dreams but never pursue them because someone else is always doing them better. We spend and keep way more than we need. We climb the corporate ladder and volunteer for everything that comes our way.
How am I supposed to be content with what I have and who I am if there’s always something better around the corner? Just like many of you I struggle with this idea of contentment. Research tells me that contentment is a feeling that comes from believing that what I have right now is enough. However, feelings are fleeting and can come and go like the wind. It takes time and energy to feel content only for the next commercial to come on for that feeling to go away.
The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4 tells us that no matter what circumstance he was in he had learned to be content. As I studied scripture more I noticed that contentment was more of a way of being than it was an emotion. That contentment was learned through repeated experience. As men and women of the Bible experienced God and His provision more they had two choices either whine and complain or trust God. Those who trusted God say Him do amazing things through their lives. Those that chose to whine and complain saw destruction.
Every circumstance or season of life we find ourselves in we have those same two choices. Contentment is having trust and faith in God’s provision, guidance, and love for us. The situations and relationships we have going on are opportunities to know Him and ourselves better-to grow.
Practical step in contentment for us this week. Choose one relationship or circumstances you are facing right now and see it as an opportunity instead of a pain. Be interested in those who are involved, the time they take place, and the setting you find the problems in. Take in the facts. Observe how you play into what is happening and what you can learn. Remember, the only thing you can control in most situation is your response and attitude about what is happening around you. The freedom and lessons you might learn center there.
Don’t rush through pain-learn from it. Contentment is finding value you in every season and circumstance of life. Trusting in God to provide for you every step of the way and in His timing. Contentment by no means equates to idleness. Contentment is the very ground where most of the work in life is done because it takes faith and trust.