Contentment… Just saying that word brings peace to my soul, but what is it and how do you keep it? Discontentment is probably a lot easier to spot than contentment. I would imagine if you stop a minute, you could quickly think of more people who seem discontented than those who are truly living contented lives. I have spent over ten years researching the discontentment many adolescent girls experience over their physical appearance. I dare say though, adolescent girls are not the only ones struggling with discontentment.
What is it for you? What causes you to slip into a sea of discontentment? Usually it starts with wanting something that we can’t have. That’s kinda where it all started in Genesis. Adam and Eve chose to eat fruit from the tree God told them to avoid all because they became discontent with what they did have. Struggles with contentment have been plaguing us ever since. Check out Genesis 3 for the full story. The root of the problem with discontentment is allowing this idea to fester in our hearts that says, I’m not good enough. What I have is not good enough. My circumstances are not good enough. My life is not good enough. We have to recognize those thoughts for what they are: false statements.
So then what is the truth? The Apostle Paul said that he had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12 NIV, emphasis mine). Apparently even in the first century true contentment was hard to find. Paul said he had to learn it too. He went on to say that the secret was found in the strength he received through Jesus Christ. He could live with plenty. He could live without. He could live with difficulties. He could live with peace. Jesus gives us the ability to face any and all situations with contentment. When we focus on Christ and not on what we have or don’t have, we will find that Jesus really is enough for all we need. There’s the secret.