The word had been finding its way back into my thoughts for over a month, almost as if it were beckoning me to come look at it.
It is defined as – “contented;
The question I find myself asking -> What exactly is “the state of being contented”?
HGTV has always fascinated me. There one can quickly find any number of shows searching for the perfect place to live …
- Those living in an apartment are searching for a house.
- Those in a house are searching for a bigger home.
- Those in a large house are searching for a tiny home.
- Those in the house of their dreams are searching for a vacation home.
As one continues to watch, one can almost wonder if contentment is elusive. We think we are there, contented, only to find something nagging at us for more, for better, for different.
So what is true and authentic contentment? How do we find it? And once discovered, how do we hold onto it?
Paul in writing to the Philippians said that he had “learned how to be content with whatever he had” (4:11). He went further and said he had “learned the secret of living [contented, which I am inserting here] in every situation” (4:12).
Living a contented life is something we must learn.
Paul explained his contentment came not from having much or little. It was not found in having all one needed to eat nor having his needs met.
My search for the answer continued and I discovered Paul unfolding his wisdom to me:
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)
We search for the will of God, asking Him to reveal His will for us and to us. Here it is stated clearly in three steps:
- Always be joyful. At the lake this past week, Jocelyn came running in one day with her fist enclosed. Opening her hand, revealed a rock. “Look at this!” she said. “It might be a treasure or a jewel.” Her joy came not in what it was but in what it could be.
- Never stop praying. Just as Jocelyn’s joy came from what could be, such is life with God. He is sovereign and able to redeem any situation. Life always has possibilities with Him. Never stop praying.
- Be thankful in all circumstances. Be aware of what has already been received. Express thanks. Out loud, if need be, until our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude.
And therein lies the secret:
Gratitude –> contentment.
Unless we are grateful for what we already have, we will never be content. We will continue to look towards what we do not have rather than enjoying what we do.
We will search for what is missing rather than seeing all that is already in our grasp.
To be content is to find oneself “
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” (1 Timothy 6:6, NLT)
Godliness + Contentment = Great wealth.