Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., observes that our society is marked by “inextinguishable discontent.” Our quest is for better and what is next. We are never satisfied, never content, and envious of those who have what we have not attained or accumulated.
What is needed is contentment. I’ve wrestled with being content my whole life. I’ve always wanting more and better. Through the years, I’ve come to the realization that the contented life is the secret of inward peace.
Here’s what I’ve learned about contentment.
- Contentment is learned. It isn’t natural. We’re not born with it. It is not a gift.
2. Contentment isn’t denying one’s feelings about wanting and desiring what they can’t have, but instead it exhibits a freedom from being controlled by those feelings.
3. Contentment isn’t pretending things are right when they are not, but instead it displays the peace that comes from knowing that God is bigger than any problems and that he works them all out for our good.
4. Contentment isn’t a feeling of well-being contingent on keeping circumstances under control, but instead it promotes a joy in spite of circumstances, looking to God who never varies.
5. Contentment is not based on external circumstances, but rather on an internal source.
6. Contentment is always an inside job. It has everything to do with what is going on inside you, not what is going on outside. It has only one source. That source is found in a soul satisfying relationship with our Heavenly Father that cares for us and promises to meet us where we are.
7. Contentment is a matter of accepting from God’s hand what he sends because we know that he is a good God and wants to give good gifts to his children. We accept, therefore, from God’s hand that which he gives. All that is needful he will supply. Even pain and suffering that seemingly cannot be corrected, he can redeem.
8. Contentment has learned the lesson that Jesus is enough. If you know Jesus, you have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have Jesus, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.
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