19 Jul Finding Contentment in CHRIST
Content, by definition means “to be satisfied with what one is or has.” Contentment is finding joy and satisfaction in what God has given us. Being content is a choice, that choice which you and I can make in every single situation. Actually, not everyone is truly content with their lives. Often times we are unsatisfied with what we have and hence we seek more of what we don’t have.
What Does It Mean To Be Content?
One of the major problems raised these days is, “love of money”. No man is content or satisfied with what he or she has. Remember, the antonym of contentment is greed and when greed enters, it destroys the blessings we already have and we even sometimes lose the capacity to enjoy what God has given us.
Apostle Paul, In 1 Timothy 6:10 pens like this, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”
How true is this! I remember a short story by a Russian author Tolstoy, titled, “How much land does a man need?” and the story goes like this. There lived a rich peasant who was never satisfied with what he had. He always had greed to have more. Once he came to know about a wonderful chance to get more land. For 1,000 rubles he could have all the land he could walk around in a day. But he must return to the starting point before sunset and if he fails to return he would lose all his money.
Next day, he rose early in the morning and set out. He walked on and on, his greed driving him just a little farther as he saw new territory. Finally, at some point he realized that he had to return back and he had to walk very fast to get back in time to claim the land. As the sun got lower in the sky, he quickened his pace. As the sun neared the horizon, he began to run. Finally, he saw the starting place. His heart was pounding rapidly and he was gasping for breath, but he gave it everything he had and plunged over the finish line, fell to the ground, and collapsed, just seconds before the sun disappeared below the horizon. A stream of blood poured out of his mouth and he lay dead. His servant took a spade and dug a grave and buried him.
The author Tolstoy concluds the story by saying, “Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed.”
How ironic! You may have heard this story earlier but there is a great lesson in this story. Since, this is what we need at last. “Six feet from head to heels.” Also, we may have even heard this very often as, “Money is a great servant but a terrible master. If you set your heart on money, someday money will break your heart”. Remember, always try to be happy with what you have because there are people who have nothing but they still manage to smile.
The author of Hebrews writing about ‘love of money’ writes like this, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he (Jesus) has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:05.
Remember, you and I share a living God who has promised us that, ‘He will never leave us nor forsake us’. So be content with what you have and flee away from love of money and hunger rather, for righteousness and you will be satisfied for Jesus says in Matthew 5:6 as, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” If your greatest hunger is for worldly things then you will never be satisfied and you will always be discontent and if your hunger is for righteousness, you will be satisfied and you will always be content.
How to Be Content?
When it comes to contentment we can learn a lot more from the life of Apostle Paul. Paul writes in – Philippians 4:12 as, “I have learned to be content”. Yes! Life of contentment can be learned. Lets us see how Apostle Paul learned it. Paul tells us, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.” – Philippians 4: 12-13.
I believe that, the very first step to learn contentment is to realize that contentment can be learned and when you realize this then you are well on your way to experience the contentment God has for you. Remember, Paul did not have an easy life, he was imprisoned, he was stoned, he was naked and he was even in hunger, all for the sake of the Gospel. Paul didn’t say he had always been content, but he says he had learned to be content through all these trails. And when Paul learned contentment there was godliness in his contentment and so he writes in 1 Timothy 6: 6-7, “Godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it”. How true is this! We brought nothing and we take nothing.
Maybe you have struggled with contentment in the past or maybe you are still struggling with it. Take comfort in the fact that contentment can be learned. You may have great needs in your life or you might have had very little blessings in your life. First, thank God for what you have because when you have very little in your life, you can learn the art of contentment. Someone said this very correctly, “A rare jewel is not found when you have more, but when you have less”. So, never think of what you don’t have in your life instead thank God for all that you have. Bring your desires down to the level of your possessions and learn to enjoy what god has given you and practice the art of godly contentment. For, being content in life is the key to happiness which gives us internal peace.
David Jose is a student of Bharath University,
Chennai and is part of EU Cell