How Can I Be More Content?
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
"I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet."
I wish my house was bigger,
my smartphone was newer,
my face showed less wrinkles,
my job paid more,
my car was newer...
The list continues.
How often do I desire things that I don't have? Am I consumed with getting the next best thing? Or am I content with what I have?
As I look through MY GLASSES, I compare my possessions with my neighbors. If their car is newer, I need a newer one. It their kids do "xyz," then my kids need to do "xyz."
Then I exert all my time and energy to buy or do these things. But for what? A moment of happiness only to be replaced by the next better thing.
But if I look through GOD's GLASSES, I see...
1. Twenty percent of the world's population lacks adequate shelter. (from YaleGlobal Online)
2. 3.1 billion people groups don't know about Jesus. (from Global Frontier Missions)
3. The average median income worldwide is $10,000 a year. (from Gallup)
4. 844 million people have no water and 2.3 lack necessary sanitation facilities.
(from The Water Crisis)
5. 795 million people don't have enough food. (from Food Aid Foundation)
6. 774 million people can't read. (from Good Read Magazine Feb. 2018)
How does my perspective change?
I realize blessings characterize my life. I live in a home with clean running water, electricity, and bathrooms. My fridge and cupboards are stocked with food. All of my family can read and write, and most importantly, we know about Jesus.
The lens of perspective is powerful! Yet, which glasses do we look through the most?
Newer, shiny things aren't necessarily bad, but when they consume us, they leave us empty. They were never meant to satisfy us, only Jesus can.
A relationship with Jesus is the only thing that can fill the void in our lives.
As we trust in Christ, our focus shifts from circumstances to Christ. He promises to take care of us and provide everything we need. Thanksgiving replaces complaining, and peace replaces discontentment.
We are content as we...
1. Abide in Christ. He is the only One who can meet our deepest needs.
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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. I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
2. Count blessings. Make a list of what we do have and be thankful for it. Choose to look at our lives as "half-full" rather than "half-empty."
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
3. Stop comparing. The Lord promises to provide for us.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
I Timothy 6:4-8 NIV
4. Love others. Use what we have to help others. As we help others, we focus changes from our needs to others' needs.
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12 NIV
As we walk through life, may we find contentment in Christ alone. May we count our blessings and share them with others. May we look through GOD's glasses and not our own.