Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Contentment is the state of being satisfied and at peace. Contentment is being in a good place with what you have, who you are, what you are doing, and where you are in life. It is respecting and enjoying the reality of the present.
Don't make the mistake of thinking only rich people are contented. Many of them are not. Don't think you must be popular to be content. Some popular people are not content after they leave the maddening crowd.
Contentment is based on what is going on inside of a person more so than what is going on outside. Contentment means being satisfied with your present instead of always striving for something better.
What Brings About Contentment
People who trust God are usually contented people. That's because they rely on Him rather than on themselves. They can rest when they trust God because they know He wants the best for them just as they want the best for themselves.
When people trust God the way they should, they worry less. People who worry are not content because they allow worrying to replace contentment. No one can worry and be content at the same time. Therefore, it is best to choose to be content.
Things That Come from Contentment
Peace of mind
Contentment brings peace of mind. When a person is content, he also has peace of mind.
Contentment promotes joy. When you are content, you are letting go of things that make you sad. Joy prevails when you accept your situation.
A grateful person is a contented person, and a contented person is a grateful person. The two descriptions go hand-in-hand with each other. If you want to be content, be grateful for what you have and for who you are.
If you want contentment, then practice gratitude. The more thankful you are in the present, the more contentment you will experience.
Distinguishing Between Wants and Needs
Learn to distinguish between wants and needs. When you are content, you may not want anything more than what you already have. What you have might be enough for you to live a contented life. Learn that contentment does not always come from material things. Instead, contentment comes from deep within.
When you can distinguish your wants from your needs, you stop overburdening yourself by wanting more of what you don't really need. Contentment comes from living a simple life by being happy with what you have instead of stressing yourself out by wanting more and more.
You will find that contentment is more important to you than a bigger house to live in or a bigger car to drive.
Contentment is a Gift from God
The Apostle Paul considered contentment as a gift from God. He said:
"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:11b-12)
Paul relied on God for his contentment. He trusted God to supply his needs instead of him striving for more. Therefore, he was content with whatever he had as well as with whatever he didn't have.
Barriers to Contentment
We might think that since contentment is a gift from God, there should be no barriers. There are plenty of barriers that keep us from being content. However, the barriers are not from God. Some barriers brought on by ourselves are listed below.
- Unforgiveness can keep us from being content. When we forgive others and ourselves, we will see how content we will become.
- Harboring bitterness with someone for not doing what we think they should do for us can be a barrier to our own contentment.
- Coveting what someone else has can keep us from having what God wants us to have for ourselves. Stop wishing you had what someone else has. That keeps God from giving us even more.
- Wanting more of something can be a barrier to being content. When we want more than we really need, then our wants become a barrier to your contentment. Like Paul, we should choose to be content without having all we want. If not, we become a slave to our desire and we will never be content.