In this article, we are going to consider a different approach to contentment. As we look into what contentment implies, and why it matters. The search for meaning, significance, and contentment has been man’s life’s compelling adventure. There is no exaggeration, that many of us are seeking contentment in the general sense of it. We are seeking, and working so hard to find our sense of security and purpose from worldly standards. And what are they? Personal status, success, wealth, money, fame, beauty, power, influence, approval, and popularity. I believe that when we have a broad and godly perspective about God, ourselves, and others, that it will give us an accurate perception of life and its meaning.
Of course, we want all these, and they are not bad on themselves, but it is our attachment, and the selfish rooted love we give them that present the danger and the lack of satisfaction. By now most of us must have known that we are not living in a perfect world. It is also true that none of us have a perfect life on this earth. Therefore, we have to learn what contentment implies, and why it matters. In this article, titled why we need contentment, we will consider another unpopular approach to gaining contentment.
What is Contentment?
Contentment has to do with an attitude of godliness. The satisfaction within you that you will not lack any good thing because of your faith in the divine providence, and the mere knowledge that we are not taking anything out of the world no matter what one has accumulated in this life. And that there is only much of anything that we can make use of. For instance, if you own 5 cars, you can only drive one at a time, likewise houses, clothes, shoes, bags, etc.
Contentment is the mindset to rest in what one already has without the curiosity to pursue more and more, rooted in inordinate desires. Paul as well as King Solomon during their lifetime drew some conclusions about life and riches. For ST. Paul, says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.”
Remember he didn’t say that money is the root of all evil, as I have heard people taken the quotation out of context. Rather, he says that the love of money is. In other words, the problem is on the love of it, the addictive nature of it. Wanting it, by all means, living for it, and the belief that having it will guarantee you a life of happiness, etc. That’s what is wrong. First Timothy 6:10.
To King Solomon, who had riches, fame, kingdom, and wisdom, after weighing everything in internal scale so to speak, he concluded by saying, “vanity of vanities; all is vanity!.” Ecclesiastes 1:2. Think about this for a moment!
Gain Knowledge Of Those Gone Before Us
All these are written for our instructions, knowledge, and to obtain wisdom on how best to live our lives for better results here on earth. The experience they said is the best teacher. These teachers have paid the price to gain the experience for us to learn from them. We can save ourselves many pains, costs, and time to learn from them and to apply our lives unto wisdom, as to be contented with what we have.
Anyone who has learned how to live a life of contentment will live above covetousness’, envy, greed, and resentment of others. Learning how to achieve a settled sense of adequacy. Just imagine such a state or level of satisfaction in your life, when your boss asked you, Jane, what do you need? And you just smiled and said Ummm, nothing really.
You can imagine the shock he will feel. Or He or she ask again, What do you have? And the answer will be I have enough. What a surprise that will be to your boss, and imagine the respect he or she will have for you.
Because you have shown an uncommon attitude and wisdom. What we have to realize about the kind of contentment I’m talking about here, is that it’s like fresh air to a suffocating soul. It is different from what so many are seeking today with devastations to our physical, spiritual, and social life. Yes, because the lifestyle of today which is rooted in the love of money has made many mortgage their lives and everything else for its pursuit.
Do you know that many people are suffocating today because of a lack of contentment? The quest to have more money, buy a new house, new cars, boats, jets, clothes, pauses, shoes, and other material things. Lack of contentment, there is no end to it. Human wants are insatiable according to economics.
We Can’t Be Content with Who We Are,
But with What We Have
I think this is why contentment sounds an illusion. Because by our default we are inadequate, we have an energy source; and unless we are constantly plugged into that source of energy – power, and inspiration, we can’t be content.
And let me announce to you, that as for me, my source is my spiritual life. It is based on the hope I have in God. That’s what gives my life meaning and a sense of purpose. It helps me to categorize things in their other of value and importance to me. I need money, wealth, success, fame, and all that, but ultimately I need the overall knowledge of these treasures only if they’re each worthy of my eternal destiny requirements.
And another thing I have learned is that one can’t be contented without making up his or her mind to desire to live a life of contentment. It is a choice that has to be made, and a lifestyle chosen. Unless we make that conscious decision in our hearts, that enough of the rat race mentality, and understand that more does not equate to a happier life or contentment.
Also, for you to be accountable to yourself and others who know you, you have to be courageous to confess that you have enough to live by and to live for. I have to learn how to see things and know their value to me in particular. I have to know when to resist buying and acquiring more just because I have the money to spend, but to say no, I’ve enough of what I need.
How Much is Good Enough?
I don’t need 5 cars to be happy or to show that I have money. Instead, ask yourself, how can I invest this to help others who are not as privileged as I’m. Ask how ca I help a struggling family? Can give a child a scholarship to finish high school or college? Which single struggling mother can I help to pay her rent, car note this month?
It is this kind of life guarantees contentment when lived by knowledge and wisdom, I tell you. That’s the kind of wealth and success that I’m aspiring for. You Deserve Success, Believe it, and Act on It
I will challenge you to choose a lifestyle. Don’t wait till when the dollars start flooding your account; choose before the financial breakthroughs. If not, with the complications of riches, it will be hard to sustain certain values and life principles. It is better to make up your mind to choose a comfortable lifestyle you need, not the ones you see others at your level live.
And moreover, if you’re a person of faith let your lifestyle be godly based, with the focus on eternal life. I believe that this approach will save us from hurts, embarrassments, dissatisfaction, and emptiness even when one has everything that money can buy.
Contentment Has Benefits
I can tell you that there are a lot of benefits to living a contented lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a contented person, you can easily experience joy, satisfaction in ordinary things of life, than otherwise.
You know that there is a mechanized happiness or joy, and there is the joy that your soul only knows.
A life of contentment will give you a settled sense of “I have enough. not in the sense of complaisance, but peaceful assurance. Do you know that it is a great privilege to be alive and healthy in the world of today? Just think about what has happened since 2019 till date. Think of millions of souls that have perished!
This line of thinking can give you hope, a sense of gratitude, and contentment. Contentment helps us to appreciate the little things of life, ordinary pleasures. If you’re content, taking a walk, cooking, cleaning, working, driving, and caring for others makes can give you joy. You will be grateful knowing that there are many with money but can’t do what you’re doing due to one handicap or the other.
Contentment will help you to slow down and reflect on life generally. You make out time to enjoy your relationships, family, friends, neighbors, kids, flowers, plants, the sun, the skies, and the animals, they are all there for our pleasures. Enjoy the pleasantries, without racing to your next appointment, meeting, zoom, conference, etc. If you can learn how to quieten down to listen, to seek God in prayer, and worship, without your mind cycling around all the wants, that is contentment.
If there is nothing else you can take away from this article, just take the fact that contentment is a choice. And that it is what we have to train our lifestyle to be. It takes the regular practice of replacing the coveting nature with a content nature. Replacing covetousness with contentment. Having the “I have enough mindset” over the I need more and more mindset.
Also to know, that a contented lifestyle, frees you from unnecessary stress and stressors. You will enjoy your life better, be more productive, happier, healthier, and grateful for who you are and what you already achieved.
Let us with wisdom chose to stop piercing ourselves through with many sorrows, stress, anxieties, due to lack of contentment of what we have already and who we are.
In conclusion, let me share the testimonies of these great men I came across in my research. Just briefly, hear what they concluded: John D. Rockefeller said this, “I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/moderation.
Again, listen to another great man by the name of John Jacob A., he was extraordinarily wealthy in his time, he said, “I’, most miserable man on earth.” Why? Because vanity of vanities, all is vanity! Another great fellow of wealth and influence by name of Vanderbilt Cornelius said, “The care of millions is too great a load. There is no pleasure in it.” He said!
I hope that the regrets, and lessons of these men and many more will help us to choose and plan our lives prudently.