3 Steps to Contentment

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In recent studies published in The American Psychological Association, The American Journal of Political Science, as well as The Journal of Marriage and Family, all concluded that the problem of dissatisfaction with self, public life and family relations was the cause of stress, depression, and conflict. In other words, people have things, rise to high levels of achievement, and have lovely homes and healthy families but cannot seem to find contentment even when they possess all these things.

This situation reminds me of the Apostle Paul who experienced a mixed bag of blessings. For example, on the positive side, he was a choose Apostle, visions of Christ, could perform miracles, given inspiration to write nearly 50% of the New Testament, and yet with all these advantages as God's. minister, he also spent years in jail – falsely accused – not to mention the shipwrecks, beatings and malicious attacks on his character and the authority of his teachings – and yet... he wrote the following in Philippians.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
- Philippians 4:11

It was a different time and a different world and yet Paul addressed a common social illness still present with us today – Dissatisfaction with life, with work, with money, with love. So in the spirit of the Apostle, I offer three steps to contentment for those who are dissatisfied today.

Start giving thanks.

In other words, review what you do have and give thanks instead of focusing on what you don't have. What an insult to God to continually be dissatisfied with what He has provided you.

Stop looking for what you want and pay more attention to what others need.

You see, caring for the needs of others is way more satisfying than simply taking care of ourselves.

Remember where you belong.

Malcontent usually involves disappointment with what we have or where we are in this world.

But we don't belong to this world, we belong to the kingdom of God – and no matter what our situation here, it will only be for a little while longer – and then the Kingdom will rise up and all those who have been faithful will be glorified and live in an eternal state that will be way beyond content.

  • Understand that the best status we can aspire to in this broken world is a state of contentment because it doesn't, it cannot get any better here.
  • However, when Jesus returns, our status will be described using words like joyful, blissful, eternal – a state of being worlds apart from mere contentment.

Now we are learning to. Be content with a cup that is half-full, soon we will go past contentment to fulfillment because our cup will be eternally full with Jesus Christ.