Have you noticed how easy it is to become discontent? Every day, we as Christians face an internal battle between being satisfied with the Giver and becoming a slave to sin.
We are bombarded by messages designed to make us feel dissatisfied with what we already have, then offered a product, service or solution they say will satisfy our desires. The problem is, none of these things truly satisfy us.
When we naively think we can find contentment in the created things we are not designed to, our heart soon becomes restless again. And we go in search of the next big thing that the world says will make us content… but the problem is that it doesn’t.
Sometimes, it’s easier to spot a lack of contentment in others’ lives than it is in our own.
Take a man named Joe, for example… Many of his friends are selling their houses to buy larger ones, and he is feeling pressured to do the same, even though this would mean going into greater debt. Another example, a woman named Kerry… Her childhood dream has always been to host dinner parties, but her house is too small. She would need to build a dining room at great cost to be able to do so.
In an effort to “keep up with the Joneses” and follow their own desires, both Joe and Kerry are at risk of suffering financially. But thankfully, each prayed and sought godly counsel before making a decision, and they both chose to stay with what they already had.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “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.’” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
How can we find true contentment? Well, the apostle Paul lets us in on a secret. Having faced all manner of circumstances in his life, Paul writes, “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.I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13).
Paul learned the secret to being content. It’s not what the world offers us and says leads to happiness. Instead, it’s having joy no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. Paul said the secret to contentment lies in continually abiding in Christ and fully trusting God to provide for our needs.
When we choose to remain connected to the Vine and daily submit to God, we soon discover that our heart no longer wanders toward desires that were never intended to satisfy us. Instead, we start to experience the true contentment that God longs to give us.
Are you feeling content? Or are you feeling dissatisfied? Is your heart at rest? Or are you falling into the comparison trap?
It’s true what the late President Roosevelt once said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you’re lacking contentment and starting to wish you had more, then pause. Recognise that discontentment is part of the enemy’s arsenal to “steal, kill and destroy” and draw you away from seeking and serving God.
Instead, when that inner restlessness stirs in your heart again, bring those desires to God, humbly ask for His will and direction, and seek to delight in the only One who can give you true contentment and rest for your soul—the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Yours in His Service,
Gwenda Jayawardhana, Founding Member, Compass Australia