Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Secret to Contentment

I recently heard this thought-provoking quote: 

The secret to contentment is . . . 
          not comparing
              not competing
        not complaining

Wow!  Can you imagine going through life never comparing yourself to anyone else, not competing with others trying to always be better in some way, and not complaining about anything???

While I've often heard that the opposite of contentment is covetousness, I also think the opposite might be Not Resting -- as in not resting in the Lord and His provisions for us in every area of life.  

My favorite definition of contentment comes from The Power for True Success:

Contentment is realizing that God has already provided everything I need for my present and future happiness.

What Elisabeth Elliot had to say on Contentment:

A spirit of calm contentment always accompanies true godliness. The deep peace that comes from deep trust in God’s lovingkindness is not destroyed even by the worst of circumstances, for those Everlasting Arms are still cradling us, we are always “under the Mercy.” Corrie ten Boom was “born to trouble” like the rest of us, but in a German concentration camp she jumped to her feet every morning and exuberantly sang “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!” She thanked the Lord for the little parade of ants that marched through her cell, bringing her company. When Paul and Silas were in prison, they prayed and sang. It isn’t troubles that make saints, but their response to troubles
Everything about which we are tempted to complain may be the very instrument whereby the Potter intends to shape His clay into the image of His Son–a headache, an insult, a long line at the check-out, someone’s rudeness or failure to say thank you, misunderstanding, disappointment, interruption. As Amy Carmichael said, “See in it a chance to die,” meaning a chance to leave self behind and say YES to the will of God, to be “conformable unto His death.” Not a morbid martyr-complex but a peaceful and happy contentment in the assurance that goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. 
~Elisabeth Elliot in Keep a Quiet Heart

What the Word says . . . . 

Philippians 4:11-13 (Amplified version)

    11 Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
    12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.
    13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amplified version)

8And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

What about you?  Do you struggle with contentment?  Or have you learned the Secret to Contentment? 


Karissa said...

That goes a long with something I heard the other week: "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they make the best of everything."

busymomof10 said...

Thanks Karissa! I love that!

tlmalcolm said...

Contentment is not having what you want but wanting what you have! Stole those words from a song but I think it rings true!

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