What is contentment? What does it mean to be content? I wondered how it’s defined in the dictionary, so I looked it up. It says contentment is “the state of being contented; satisfaction”. Not much help, so I looked up content. It means “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting anything else”. So then I checked the dictionary for satisfied, and I found “to have one’s desires, expectations, needs, or demands fulfilled”. So let’s start with a working definition of contentment as “when what you have fulfills what you desire”.
Let’s visualize discontentment:
Whenever your desires outweigh what you have, you’ll find yourself in a state of discontentment. You won’t be happy with your situation because you won’t feel satisfied. Contentment begins when what you desire is equal to (or even less than) what you have:
Contentment comes when you no longer crave or desire anything you don’t already have. It’s not just the passive acceptance of your situation. It’s a conscious choice to enjoy, appreciate, and accept what you have while giving up the cravings for the things you don’t have.
Contentment will not come by waiting for it to appear. It requires you to assess your current situation and decide if that’s enough for you or if you want more. If you never take the time to really consider what you need to be content, you’ll never know if you’ve found contentment or not.
This idea of contentment has powerful implications for those who choose to follow Christ. We’re going to discuss that in much more detail next week when we look at how to find contentment.
I’m going to stop here today, and let you have your say. What is contentment? How do you define it? How do you know when you have it? What do you need to be content? Leave your thoughts in a comment below, and stay tuned for next week when we’ll talk about how to find contentment!