Can you think of a moment in your day, week or life in which you felt content? What was it like? What were the circumstances?
Longing for more
I hope you can think of a lot of content moments in your day, week and life, but I bet that there are many moments in which you didn’t feel content. When you longed for more peace, rest, health, wealth, blessings, friends, love, sunshine, vacations…. and the list goes on. It’s a fact that most people spend a lot of time thinking on future things, we spend a lot of time worrying, dreaming and feeling discontent or unsatisfied about certain aspects of our lives.
We are often driven by what we want to be more, bigger or different. We compare what we have with to what we see at our neighbours. I’ve lived in Africa for several years as a missionary. I can say we lived a pretty content life there, even though we longed for some Dutch food and friends and family. When we returned permanently to the Netherlands we were sure we would be content with whatever we would have and not fall in the trap of always striving for more or bigger, as is so
common in the western world. But it’s harder than I thought. Everyday I pass by houses with larger playgrounds, or a garage. I hear about vacations to far destinations and see myself planning when I could go there. It’s so easy to step into this treadmill of chasing after wealth, where so many people seem to constantly run in. People who always chase for a larger house, a bigger car, more expensive clothes, the newest phone.
The root of all evil
Isn’t this what the Bible warns us against in 1 Timothy 6:10 “The love of money is the root of al evil”. Let’s be clear, it doesn’t say having a lot of money is the root of evil. It can be a blessing if you use it right. But the love of money, chasing after it, making it your priority, pursuing always better and bigger, is the root of all evil. Look at the many examples in the Bible: Adam who wanted to be greater than God, David wanting a more beautiful woman, Annanias who wanted to keep the money for himself, the disciples argueing who would get the seat next to Jesus. It’s in our human nature, in our old and sinful human nature. Look in the world around us: so many hatred, wars, divorces, fraud, find their root in love for money, power or striving for better and bigger.
Feeling content means no jealousy, no envying, no worrying. It is feeling blessed and at peace with your circumstances. As it says in Philippians 4:12-13:
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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Here is Paul, who knew some hardship in his life, telling us that being content is a secret. It lies in the fact that Jesus Christ is the One who will give us the strength to endure whatever crosses our paths and He will provide our every need as you can read in Matthew 6:25, 33-34:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your
body, what you will wear. (…) 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things
will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Focus on God
Jesus encourages us not to worry but to trust God for your food and clothes and to be content when you have just that. When you put the kingdom of God first, al else will be given to you by your heavenly Father. We should pursue more of God and His Kingdom. Is it easy to feel content? No, maybe not. But it is a choice we can make, a decision to focus our eyes upon God, to seek His Kingdom and to trust Him for all our (actual) needs. A content life is pleasing to God and He will be with us, always!
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has
said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Read also: Want to be great? Be faithful!