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  • Writer's pictureJohn Phillips

Being Content

Valerie and I have this running conversation, usually on Saturday mornings, and it often centers around the question of what does it mean to be content. We have concluded that the biggest problems come when people begin to compare what they have to what others have. The funny thing is that most people have the things that they think will make them content, but when they see others around them with nicer things they suddenly are no longer content with what they have.

You know, it got me to thinking about what the bible teaches us about the subject of contentment. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:6-8, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content.” I think Paul understood that real contentment has nothing to do with your external surroundings, since he wrote these words from a prison cell.

I think he understood that discontentment always starts with comparing our situation with that of another. When we start to compare our situation with what others are going through discontentment won’t be far behind.

Listen, it’s really easy to fall into the comparison trap. You may be comparing yourself with someone who makes more money than you do; who has more house than you do; who you think is better looking or more talented than you are. Maybe you're comparing your ministry to someone else's, or your job, or how you're being treated. There's probably some area of your life right now where you are especially susceptible to comparing yourself, but if you do that you’ll never be satisfied with whatever you attain in life!

In order for us to find that contentment that the bible calls "great gain" we should focus on the God we belong to and who is working out a unique plan for our lives. We must realize that there will always be people with more of what we want and people with less than what we have. But God measures out our blessings in the amounts that will help make us more like Jesus and help us to find contentment in being what He wants us to be.

Let’s remember that we are unique and God's plans for us are unique! So instead of comparing, which makes no sense and is an insult to God who is providing everything we need, let’s determine to find reasons for true contentment as we count our blessings throughout the year!

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