July 1st 2014, by Timothy S. Tyson
Either through our own experience or the account of someone we know, we can all recall people who have much less than we do, or who live under unthinkable circumstances, yet their lives are characterized by joyful contentment. I believe contentment is a universal pursuit. Since the desire to be content permeates every area of our lives, let’s take a closer look at contentment.
The pursuit of contentment involves choices and actions that will either lead us down a worldly path or a godly path. Contentment in our culture is generally characterized by consumption and self-centeredness. It’s about me, it’s about getting more, it’s about obtaining what I want with the goal of fulfilling selfish ambitions and voids in my life so that I can feel satisfied. This path has no final destination and leads to a never ending pursuit of more achievements and possessions.
Biblical contentment requires both defensive and offensive actions. Defensively, biblical contentment is achieved by setting up boundaries and averting those things that tempt us to chase the fantasy of worldly contentment. Offensively, it involves pursuing the things of true worth such as “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11). God’s path to contentment provides rest, peace, and true satisfaction. Biblical contentment is based on faith, trust, and dependence on God.
Will you join me in asking yourself this question: Will I take matters into my own hands to try to satisfy a void, or will I exercise my choices and actions to pursue biblical contentment despite how I feel?
- Proverbs 19:23 – The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
- Philippians 4:11-12 – 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.
- 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.”