I once saw a book titled “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment”. I have never read the book, but the title stayed in my mind whenever I thought of the word contentment. Why?
Because it tells us two things about contentment.
The first thing is that contentment is “rare”.
The second thing is that contentment is a “jewel”.
Both of these are true.
How many times have you seen people complaining of, or even joking about complaining of deficiencies in their everyday lives? A lot more than being thankful, that’s for sure. That’s why contentment, true contentment, is such a rare jewel. Contentment is something that only God can give us. But, while God gives us contentment, there are some things we can do to fight the sin of discontentment.
Find the good in everything. In everything give thanks. That means that there’s something good in everything. You might be having a completely depressing day as you’re reading this and thinking, “There’s nothing I can be thankful for.” But you’re reading this magazine, right? That means you know how to read. That’s something to be thankful for. The same way that what is lacking cannot be counted, what we have cannot be counted, either.
Even the bad things. “For everything there is a season and a purpose.” From this verse in Eccl. 3, we know that God has a purpose for everything, even “bad” things or times. We can be thankful that we have a God who’s good, and in control. Nothing He does is wanton or for a bad purpose.
Say thank you. I know when I pray, I ask. A lot. And you know what? God answers! But let’s not take those answers for granted. Let’s remember how faithful God has been. In fact, wouldn’t it be a great idea to start a journal marking when God answered a prayer? Whenever you’re down, you can look at it and be reminded of God’s generosity —and be content in that.
Let some things go. Have you ever really, really wanted something to the point of discontent if you could not have it? That’s called…idolization. Our hearts are idol factories. Don’t idolize anything but God.
If you want something so much that you’re not content if you don’t have it…it may be time to let that thing go.
Because remember, true contentment is found only in following God and not in material things. Once we have one thing, we immediately want another, “better” thing. So letting go of materials that invade God’s place in our hearts will pave the way to true contentment, not a conditional contentment that depends on if life is going our way.
*this article was also published in the Salty Girls magazine.*