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The prudent lover considereth not the gift of the lover so much as the love of the giver. He looketh for affection more than the value, and setteth all gifts lower than the Beloved. The noble lover resteth not in the gift, but in Me above every gift.

(The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis, The First Book, page 59)

The quote has stayed in my thoughts, weaving its way deeper. Each time I return to read it, I ponder the questions:

  • What does true contentment look like?
  • Do I truly believe that no matter what life may bring my way, I can truly be content?

Contentment can be defined as being satisfied. It is an ease of mind (according to Contentment is displayed when we are feeling, or showing, satisfaction with our current possessions, status, or situation.

Contentment means there is no striving to gain yet more.

Contentment does not come from the accumulation of possessions. We can gain, buy, collect, and upgrade without experiencing any sense of satisfaction at all. Paul tells us in Philippians 4, he was content when he had little or much, a full or an empty stomach (verse 12) for he had learned to be content with whatever he had.

Paul had found a way to be content with possessing life’s necessities. Necessities may vary from culture to culture, but withing our own framework, we can come to the realization of having enough.

And this is where Paul and my friend (Tom, above) intersect.

Contentment can be learned as Paul states, “for I have learned to be content with whatever I have” (verses 11).

He also stated …

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” (Philippians 4:12, NLT)

Paul had found a way to be content with “enough” and enough was whatever he had in that moment. Each day became sufficient in and of itself.

So what is the secret?

In his book Hearing God, Dallas Willard brought it all together for me:

Our contentment lies not in his presents but in the presence of the One whose presents they are.

(from Hearing God by Dallas Willard, page 60)

We must esteem God’s love for us more than we esteem the gifts He gives to us during our days. It is in God alone, His Presence in my life, that we must be content.

The Secret of Contentment.
Jesus = Everything.


Today I am joining … Testimony Tuesday and Unite and #RaRaLinkup and Tea and Word .