Contentment is realizing that God has already provided everything I need for my present and future happiness. Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1. Contentment is contrary to human nature and must be learned. Part of the reason why Adam and Eve sinned was lack of contentment. I mean, they had it all: perfect health, perfect marriage, perfect garden, perfect fellowship with God. But with all that they were not content. Paul says in Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance.
2. Contentment begins by knowing the purpose of life. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says that “The chief end of man is to know God and enjoy him forever.” Paul said in Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
3. Contentment requires distinguishing between needs and wants. There are a few things in life that are really necessary. 1 Timothy 6:8-9 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
4. Contentment is achieved by exchanging things for more of Christ. Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Jim Elliot a young missionary to Ecuador said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Question for Reflection: Do you rejoice in the wealth of things that money cannot buy – such as health, freedom, a good name, a clear conscience, and eternal salvation—more than the temporal possessions?
Reference: The Power for True Success: How to Build Character in Your Life by Institute in Basic Life Principles, Oak Brook Illinois