What True Contentment Means
This world will try to convince you that your purposes, goals, significance, self-worth, ambition, and life energy should be wrapped up in material things.
For many, the world’s message is simple: make as much as you can, as quickly as you can, to retire as soon as you can, to enjoy a life of leisure as long as you can.
In addition, this world will tell you that if you have enough money, you can live free of fear and anxiety. In other words, place your faith and security in your net worth, your assets, and your ability to generate income.
But true financial peace and contentment come from accepting God’s lordship over all things, including our money; managing the resources He entrusts to us according to His financial principles; and becoming a generous giver.
What Does Discontentment Look Like?
One of the main symptoms of discontentment is that you’re unable to experience peace living on what God has provided. You’re restless, you feel that you have a void inside, and it seems you’re always yearning for more.
Discontentment causes you to make poor financial decisions. You buy into the philosophy that you always need more, better, faster. You compare the things you have to the things you could have. What you currently have is never good enough.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”
It’s not wrong to have nice things. But you need to remember that true satisfaction comes from contentment with God.
Psalm 118:1 tells us, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” This is not about denying the reality of life and trying to cover it up with a positive attitude. It’s about living the truth of God’s presence in your life.
What Does Contentment Look Like?
If money can’t buy it and poverty doesn’t provide it, what is contentment?
Contentment, contrary to popular opinion, is not simply being satisfied where you are.
Contentment is knowing God’s plan for your life, having the conviction to live it, and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s problems.
You’ve probably heard Philippians 4:12: “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.”
Paul said he learned the secret of being content – it didn’t come naturally to him. Living a content life is not something that will come naturally to us either. It’s a learned attitude and position of our hearts. Much like exercising or training for a race, we have to build the muscles over time to sustain the weight of the task we’ve set out to accomplish. Living a content life comes by making daily choices to choose Christ over the world.
Like Paul, we must be willing to say “No” to things of this world and “Yes” to the things of God.
Paul told Timothy that “…Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:6-9)
Take to heart what the writer of Hebrews said: “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
So take the next steps to become content. It all starts with aligning our hearts with Scripture. Crown’s newest online study is designed for you to take a deep dive into what the Bible says about every area of your finances, and develop a content heart. Click here to get started!