5 Steps to a Godly Contented Life
What does contentment mean to you?
When was the last time you were fully contented?
Is it possible to feel contented all the time?
I have discovered that feeling contented is a choice that we make every day – whatever we are doing, whoever we are with and wherever we are!
In good times and bad times it is possible to feel contented.
Contentment is what God wants for you. God + Contentment (Godly Contentment) = Great Gain!
Godliness with contentment is great gain, 1 Tim 6:6
Contentment is a sense of inward sufficiency – the feeling that you have enough.
- You don’t need what everyone else is craving
- You have everything you need inside – not in your own efforts or abilities but because the very Spirit of God lives in you
Discontentment on the other hand is no fun at all! It reveals itself in:
Everything and everybody is seen as not being enough for you. You may have a wonderful home but you keep seeing the defects. You might have a loving spouse but you only see how they are not meeting your needs – they are not enough. Your children are never reaching your standards – they are not enough. Even down to the weather – it may be nice and sunny but you can find something that isn’t right.
“Discontentment is an emotion that is capable of dwarfing us spiritually because it is directed against the Lord. If we are discontented with His will for us, then we are not going to grow in faith.” Vickie Kraft
Discontentment is probably one of the main reasons why Christians are not growing in their faith. At the heart of discontentment is a distrust in God. It is focusing on what we lack rather than what we have. It’s taking our eyes of God and His provision.
I have pinpointed 2 main actions that fuel discontentment:
Comparison always leaves you dissatisfied.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Theodore Roosevelt
It is so easy to fall into the comparison trap. Have you done any of these comparisons?
- compare your house to others
- compare the way we look
- feel jealous with how lucky someone else seems to be
- compare our children or grandchildren’s accomplishments
- compare how much money other people have
- comparing with someone else’s talents and goals
As we become more connected with people via social media, reality t.v. and advertising it is hard to stop comparing our lot with everyone else. When I was a little girl we had no t.v.. no internet, no social media – I had no idea what I was missing out on.
We do have a choice – either try and keep pace with people or keep peace. This is a good question to ask ourselves – am I trying to keep PACE or keep PEACE?
Comparing your lot with others temps you to keep pace with people who have more and it will also tempt you to accumulate more.
Ah, complaining – this is pure emotional pollution. In the act of complaining we create an atmosphere, an air arounds us that cannot host the presence of God. Complaining sends an emotional virus into the air that others breath and become infected with. (Tim Cameron “The Forty Day Word Fast”) (affiliate link – see note below)
When we complain we blind ourselves to all the good things the Lord has accomplished for us.
Do everything without complaining and arguing. Phil 2:14
So how do we get from a state of being negatively discontented, complaining and comparing to a lifestyle of stable emotions and full of joyful contentment?
5 Steps to a Godly Contented Life
1. Decide – all change start with a decision. Make a decision to change your mindset from being stuck on the negative to be set on learning how to be content. A switch needs to be made in our minds – the switch starts with the decision. Realise that your discontentment is in fact aimed against God. Decide that you need to be for God and not against Him. This will need to be a daily decision – everyday when you wake up – today, I am content in God. He is all I need. Agree with Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. This decision is to set your love onto Jesus and not to set your love onto things, circumstances or people.
“Because she set her love on Me, there I will save her; I will set her [securely] on high, because she knows My name [she confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing that I will never abandon her, no , never].” Psalm 91:14
2. Discipline – all change requires discipline. This is crunch time. This is an ongoing training of yourself to stop comparing and complaining. Contentment is a learned skill.
“…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil 4:11-12 NLT
3. Determination – become determined that this change towards being contented is a permanent thing. Don’t let anything- circumstances, people or want of material things keep you from being content. Say with the Psalmist…
“My heart has not turned back, and my steps have not deviated from your way.” Psalm 44:18
4. Dependence – When you live fully dependent on God – you live in peace. When we try and live life in our own strength and resources we can easily become discontented.
“You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. ” Isaiah 26:3
5. Delight – When we are delighting ourselves in God – enjoying His presence and His presents – there is not room for discontentment. Make it a daily priority to find ways to delight yourself in God – thank Him, keep a gratitude journal and count your blessings!
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” Ps 37:4
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I would love to hear your suggestions for kicking the comparison and complaining habit out of our lives – feel free to leave a comment and share this post with your friends on facebook – use the sharing buttons below.