There is a major problem happening in our world today. It’s called: discontentment. Far too often, I hear people say “if I only I had this…then I would be happy.” I admit I’ve been guilty of proclaiming these words too. We start to feel sorry for ourselves when we don’t have what we want, but what does the Bible say about being discontent? Let’s take a look at the following scripture passages and dive deeper into what it means to be content with what we have.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Phillipians 4:11-13
In these verses, Paul explains that no matter what his circumstances are like, he was content with Christ living in Him. It didn’t matter if certain people liked him, or despised him. It didn’t make a difference if he were poor, or rich. What truly mattered to Paul was that Christ was working in and through Him in order to accomplish His will.
How often do we actually learn to be content? It can be so difficult, especially in our generation where we are taught to “keep climbing the ladder of success.” There is nothing wrong with being successful, but there is something wrong with the world’s view of success. Happiness is equated with wealth and beauty. A well-rounded individual is someone who has a good paying job or has a degree of some kind. Does God really care whether or not we drive a Mercedes Benz or an old pick-up truck? If God were like us, He would only be able to see the outer appearance rather than our heart. Thankfully, God is able to see every nook and cranny inside of us, even the parts we may try to hide or cover-up. God knows each of our hearts and knows whether or not we are content with what we have.
If I’m truly content with Christ, my actions and motives should be displayed through the love I share with others. Instead of focusing on me, the true focal point should be on Christ-which, in turn, is loving others more than myself.
When we feel discontent, do we feed our emotions with self-pleasure or self-denial? The Bible makes it crystal clear that in order to be a true Christ-follower, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). Does this mean we have to deny ourselves of daily food, or fun activities? Not at all. But it does mean that we need to remember our present suffering will only lead to future joy when we deny ourselves of worldly pleasures. Just because certain people seem to be living a comfortable, care-free life, doesn’t mean that we need to follow in their footsteps. In fact, that’s not the pattern Jesus set for us when He died on the cross. He knew that in order to find any true, lasting joy and fulfillment, He needed to die to His own desires in order to inherit what God desires.
When we become content with the path Jesus laid before us, we find a true sense of purpose. Of course, there are moments on my journey when I feel discontent. Maybe it’s because I’m looking too much at the world around me. I see married couples and think to myself “I want that” or I see people wearing really nice clothes and tell myself, “If only I could afford to wear those clothes.” Just a quick note, I normally don’t worry about what kind of clothes I wear, but you get the idea of what I mean by being discontent. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of discontentment when our eyes are fixed on ourselves, rather than the One who gives us everything we need to feel secure and content.
Is there anything in your life that you feel discontent about? May I encourage you to do something that truly makes a difference in one’s life? Start by making a list of all the things you are thankful for, whether it be the good night’s sleep or the sound of the birds chirping outside your window. Don’t believe the lie the enemy says about success. Because when we have the Lord on our side, that’s when we know we have all the success the world could never offer. When we choose to say, “thank You, Lord, for being my Comforter in times of distress” we find ourselves in a place of peace, rather than discontentment.
I am so thankful for this little guy. He might be a four-legged fur ball, but he never fails to place a smile on my face when I’m feeling down. Bentley, your one of the many blessings to our family ❤