“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
How many of us have felt contentment in a time of hurt or need? Or when life goes through a rough patch and we are left at what seems to be the bottom, wondering if things could get any worse? It’s not an easy thing to do, is it…to be satisfied or happy with our circumstances.
Or think about a time in your life when things were at a high. Were you content with the way things were or were you tempted to want just a little bit more? Can we truly reach a point in our lives in which we are 100 percent satisfied with what we have?
One of the richest men of his time, John D. Rockefeller, was once asked in regards to his personal wealth “How much is enough?” His answer was short and sweet “Just a little bit more.” Now there’s nothing wrong with financial success but I do wonder if Mr. Rockefeller ever truly learned the secret to contentment that the apostle Paul was speaking about in the book of Philippians (chapter 4, v. 11)
The apostle Paul speaks of being content in any and every situation. Meditate on that for a moment. Remember, contentment means being happy and satisfied. So what is the secret? It’s revealed in the next verse, Paul states that he can do this (be content in all circumstances) because God has given him the strength to do so.
What prevents us from being content? Nancy Wilson, in her book Learning Contentment, writes “Envy is the archenemy of contentment. If we want to pursue contentment, we must fight envy tooth and nail. Because that is what it’s going to take to rid our hearts and minds of every form of envy and envy’s ally, covetousness. Honestly though, we often overlook these particular sins because they are our pets.”
Call to Action
So how can we begin cultivating a spirit of contentment within ourselves and our family and rid ourselves of envy and covetousness?
• PRAY – for strength to recognize and resist temptations of discontent. • BE THANKFUL – contentment and thankfulness go hand in hand. Are you thankful in all circumstances? If so, you are more likely to have a contented heart in those same circumstances! • BE MINDFUL – of your buying habits. Teach your children early on about identifying wants vs needs (this will also be useful in teaching financial responsibility as they get older). • BE FAITHFUL – keep the 10th Commandment. Coveting leads to discontentment (and often times much worse things).