3 Thoughts on Contentment
Have you ever caught yourself thinking: once I graduate college or start my career, etc, then I will be happy? The problem is, once we achieve those exact things that we thought would make us happy, we are left in the same exact spot where we started. There wasn’t contentment in that, so then you move on to the next thing your heart is chasing.
It’s like peeling an onion. You peel and peel and peel, and then you get to the end and there is nothing left. No one wants to spend their whole life striving and chasing to find out in the end, that they are still left unsatisfied.
Where is true contentment found? Here are three thoughts on contentment.
1. Seek Satisfaction in Jesus
Where do you find satisfaction? When we are not satisfied in Christ, we search for that satisfaction somewhere else.
I struggle with pursuing success. I struggle with putting my identity in the things I do instead of who I am in Christ. I struggle with striving to please people... All of these struggles happen when I am not finding my satisfaction in Christ and Christ only. In none of these things can I find real satisfaction. When do I struggle the most in my life? When I am not finding my satisfaction in the right place.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Why do we look for these very things in the world when only He can satisfy those needs?
2. The Key to Self-Fulfilment is Self-Denial
The best life is the disciplined life, chasing hard after Christ. Taking up your cross everyday may not be easy, but it is fulfilling. I find joy when I put others first. And wherever we are in life, we always have the opportunity to love and serve others.
The more you do something, the less you enjoy it. Sometimes happiness comes from restricting something you enjoy for a time and then when you reintroduce it, you will enjoy it more. This is biblical as well, Jesus teaches the importance of fasting from things so they don’t become an idol in our lives.
Comfort is different than contentment. When you’re content, you continue to improve and change while not feeling the pressure to strive. But when you are comfortable, you are okay with staying in the same place and don’t feel the need to change.
3. Change Your Perspective
Paul gives us incredible insight for contentment in Philippians 4:11 where he states, “not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned whatever situation I am to be content.” The concept Paul is talking about here is incredible. If we learned to be content in whatever situation we found ourselves in then nothing would bother us in life. Nothing would hold us back.
When I was in high school I achieved one of my biggest goals that I had set at that point in my life. It was to be a state champion in track and field. For the longest time, I had this unidentified subconscious belief that once I completed this goal, then I would be content with my life. Guess what, a few days later, after putting years of work into this goal, I was discontent.
That was a huge moment for me and I cannot explain the importance of this enough, because I truly realized that nothing on this earth could bring me true contentment, I could only find true, lasting contentment in my identity in Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful that I learned this lesson early on in my life. Now I chase goals with an eagerness to glorify God in everything I’m doing, not out of a need to strive or prove myself.
Question where you seek satisfaction from. Look for ways to be disciplined and serve others. And like Paul, be content in all situations.
Reflect on a time in your life that you were truly content. What was the source of your contentment during that time?
Comment your thoughts below!