Paul says in Philippians 4:11 “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Does that mean we are satisfied staying where we are? No, contentment means we can be happy or content, not full of stress and worry, whatever our circumstances. We find joy not just in our great heights but in the ordinary and in desperation as well. God wants us happy just traveling through our journey. Joyce Meyer says tells us to enjoy our journey from where we are now to where God is taking us.
Contentment isn’t passive, it’s accompanied by Godliness. It comes from being in right relationship with God and as first Timothy 6:6 says “true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” This means that God will bless us for just being there in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, using us to build relationships with trust and strength. We can be leaders even when we’re not in charge by affecting those around us with a good attitude.
Unrestrained discontentment leads numerous mental and physical problems. Discontentment which results from believing we deserve more or better than we have creates a nasty attitude in us. The truth is none of us would want what we justly deserve without Jesus. Discontentment is an expression of mistrust and it dishonors God. Discontentment breeds insecurity, jealousy, strife, greed and worry.
A major problem with discontentment is worry. What is worry – a destructive mental habit which leads to numerous health problems. It is the most destructive disease. Many physical ailments are caused by dammed up anxiety and worry including arthritis, hypertension and ulcers.
Discontentment that doesn’t come from wanting so much that it eats us from the inside out comes from our heart through God. It’s what inspires greatness; it inspires an extraordinary life in Jesus. As John Eldredge explains in Desire: the journey we must take to find the life God offers…
In the quiet moments of the day we sense a nagging within, a discontentment, a hunger for something else. But because we have not solved the riddle of our existence, we assume that something is wrong—not with life, but with us…
We feel guilty about our chronic disappointment. Why can’t I just learn to be happier in my job, in my marriage, in my church, in my group of friends? You see, even while we are doing other things, “getting on with life,” we still have an eye out for the life we secretly want…
Even though we sleep, our desire does not. “It is who we are.” We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.
Discontentment may be the voice of God telling us it’s time to change something in our lives or to be a benefit to others. Discontentment may lead us to do something great for Him. In the correct perspective it is a good thing and can transform our lives and the lives of those we touch.
A Prayer for Contentment
Lord, help us to pray every day to count our blessings and to recognize that all we have comes from you.
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Other posts in this series: A Contented Attitude
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Introduction to Attitudes