This is a time of year when bright, shiny things vie for our attention. If ever we’re tempted to think that a new possession will bring satisfaction, Christmas time is it. The television commercials can make me feel like if I find a new car in the driveway or a diamond necklace under the tree, I will be happy.
In this season, I like to think about the next step we can take towards becoming a wise woman. We can be content.
While we often think contentment means being content with what we own (or don’t own) – and it does – it also encompasses much more. Am I satisfied with my calling in life? Do I envy the woman who has more friends or a larger blog audience or makes better crafts or has smarter children?
When comparison, the enemy of contentment, creeps in, we can become discontent in many different areas of our life. Often we’re totally satisfied with what we have until we notice what someone else has. It’s then that we feel something is lacking. As I’ve written about before, we can be happy for someone else and their gain while being content with our own situation.
Now let’s agree that being content doesn’t mean we never seek to have nice things or don’t better ourselves by living up to our full potential. We know the Proverbs 31 woman worked hard, she provided good things for her family, and even gained financially, but always with the right attitude.
That’s what contentment is – an attitude that accepts all God provides (be it little or much) as from His hand and as what is best for us in our current season of life. It’s an understanding that nothing outside of us can bring true satisfaction. If you don’t have that attitude of contentment, it won’t matter how much you get; it will never be enough.
So what do I need to know about being content?
1. Contentment can be learned. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” ~Philippians 4:11 If Paul can write these words from a jail cell, surely I can say them along with him here in modern-day America. I may struggle at times with being content, but with God’s help, I can learn to trust Him to provide exactly what He wants me to have.
2. God is all I need. “Let your conversation [lifestyle] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” ~Hebrews 13:5 In my humanity, I want to trust in my own self or in a reliable source that I can actually see for my security. But in reality, if I have God’s presence with me, I need nothing else.
3. Grasp those things that last. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” ~I Timothy 6:6-7 Love that wording – “it is certain we can carry nothing out.” We all know that any earthly attainments and possessions are going to stay behind when we die. It’s only the investments we’ve made in eternity that will last.
4. God knows my needs. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?….for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” ~Matthew 6:31-32 God knows what I need. Other verses in this passage talk about how He takes care of the birds and the flowers, so I can certainly trust Him to take care of me. How often He goes above and beyond meeting my needs and also gives me my wants!
May an attitude of contentment begin in our hearts and permeate our homes this holiday season!
Read previous posts in this series here.