Contentment versus Covetousness
“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase” John Balguy
He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and a happy mind.” Thomas Secker
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” Vernon Howard
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig
We should strive to be content and not covet what we don’t have.
1. Being satisfied with what one is or has.
2.Having ease of mind (in the current circumstances.)
Synonyms for Contentment: serenity, gladness, satisfaction, happiness, pleasure, gratification, ease
Antonyms for Contentment:uncomfortable, unhappy, disgruntled, agitated, restless, displeased
What the Bible says about Contentment:
Phillipians 4: 11-12 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.
1 Timothy 6:6 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.
Phill 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways,when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Prov 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Examples from the Bible:
The Psalms are full of David’s prayers. David’s prayers often reflect someone seeking contentment and then finding that contentment by resting in the knowledge and promises of God. Example: A Psalm Of David when he was in the Desert of Judah : Psalm 63: 1-8 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Job modeled contentment by realizing that God was the maker of all things, and the Most High God who was worthy to be praised and trusted no matter how difficult the circumstances of life. He realized circumstances did not change WHO GOD WAS or the fact that God was the Creator and we were the created who should be content to trust in the Divine Wisdom of God.
Paul modeled contentment. In fact, he said “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:10) and ” I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11). we know that the circumstances Paul often found himself in were not pleasant because he was often in prison, rejected and persecuted.
The Example of Jesus to us:
Jesus often spoke of contentment. Matthew 6: 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6: 19-24 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Luke 3:14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely–be content with your pay.”
Luke 12:13-15 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Personal Application and Thoughts:
“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.” John Bunyan. Contentment comes from the inside of us not the outside. We all know how miserable celebrities lives can be even though they have glamour, fame, and fortune. I have known many restless, and very unhappy people because they are always trying to keep up with the materialism of their friends and neighbors or just the world at large. It’s a vacuum that can never be filled. I have also known many very happy, content and peaceful minded people who have been very poor but have learned to appreciate what they have. Why are people so restless and always pursuing stuff, circumstances, and change? Well, I think it’s because we are incomplete and God made us that way. He put within us a need for Him so that we would seek Him. He is the only one who can meet our need and “FILL US UP”. Do you have holes in your life? Are you restless, uneasy, discontent and long for the promised “peace that passes all understanding”? You have to realize that God is the one who will complete you and only He can. He says that if we seek Him, He will be found. I hope that you can stop pursuing dead end roads and seek to stay on the path of direction and fellowship with God because He wants to be your everything.
PRAYER FOR YOUR CONTENTMENT: I pray that you will realize how much you need God and realize that He is the source of your deepest desires. I hope that You will pursue an intimate relationship with the One who will complete you. May God grant you contentment and peace in the midst of all circumstances.