Will material possessions bring true contentment?
How to find perfect contentment.
Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:57 AM PDT
“He has his own elevator to his apartment,” my friend told details about the homes of the rich and famous. His line of work takes him into homes some only dream about.
Remember when people were glued to the TV program about the rich and famous? Is that because most want to know what that life is like? Maybe so, But most folks like you and me don’t want glitz and glamour, we just want to live in peace—secure and with easy-to-solve problems.
But it ain’t that simple. Because all of us, even those relishing in luxury and swimming in extravagance, deep down aren’t content. Wearing our designer sunglasses, we subtly peek over the fence at someone else who has more, bigger and better.
Contentment sometimes is harder than catching a whale with a fishhook. Being truly content is tough to get. It’s often an elusive feat. Yet God says through Paul’s words that contentment is a gift, a blessing and a good place to be. And being an ultimate destination, God gave us the GPS to get there.
Here are the three C’s of contentment:
- Consider the alternative. Yes, friends, when our life gets close to the pitiful stage, there is always something else we could have lost. I learned that. When I lost my sight completely, I was one discontented chica. But when looking at what I still had and what else I could’ve lost, gratitude rocketed to the top.
- Compare yourself with others. I know, our parents told us never to do that. But I once dared to compare myself to Pasita. She was a woman my age whom I met in a remote island of the Philippines during my last mission trip. Her one-room “home” in the middle of dirty fields, was made of sticks. Bugs, snakes and fat rats visited often. While blistering heat scorched the surrounding, Pasita smiled at the kids she gathered from surrounding areas as she spooned tiny portions of rice while she told them about Jesus. Was she content? Nope. She was more than that, she was rejoicing. With a smile that wrinkled her bony cheeks she said to me. “I know the Lord and that’s all I need.”
- Check out the rearview mirror of our lives, looking back at the times God lifted us from our sorry mistakes. How He saved us from the disasters we could’ve had. How He sustained us when we didn’t deserve it. And how He provided in ways we never expected. No matter what sticky the situation might be right now, that confidence in God’s provision has to fan the flame of sweet contentment.
Paul is the guru of contentment, he might have followed the 3 C’s because 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. I can do everything through him [Jesus] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Father, in moments when I feel dissatisfied, restless, hungry for more or for something different, point me to the truth of contentment where I know that I’m where I need to be. I will find true contentment because of Christ. And knowing you’re in perfect control, I can say with all that’s in me, “All is well with my soul.” In Jesus’ name, amen.
- What does contentment look like for you?
- Where do you find complete satisfaction?
- What keeps you from being at peace and content right now?