When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.’
Have you ever noticed that one of humankind’s greatest faults is that we lack contentment in life? And while it is commonplace in the times in which we now live, this is certainly not limited to life in the 21st century. Consider that it was Teddy Roosevelt that coined the phrase quoted in the picture that appears above! You see, during the Spanish-American War, men under Roosevelt were hesitant to begin the battle for San Juan Hill. They wanted more men, more guns, and more supplies.
MORE, MORE, MORE!
Sound vaguely familiar? It should because it is the same attitude displayed by so may people who live today, who have so much and yet who want more money, more power and more fame. It was the same attitude displayed by those who were willing to fight in 1898 during the time of Teddy’s San Juan Hill, when Spanish colonial rule ended in the Americas, but only if they had more. And it was the same attitude displayed by one of a pair of brothers who lived in the earliest days of our Biblical history, when the one with a black heart wanted more recognition for his sacrifice to God.
So what ties all of these things together? Well, clearly, when we lack contentment, we are also saying to God that we do not trust in His capacity to provide the things that are the best for us. And while we think that chasing after our own dreams will provide us with the answers to living happily, generally our relief is short-lived. You see, contentment begins and ends with a mind and a heart that has a personal relationship with God and a belief that what He gives both materially and spiritually, is sufficient to meet our needs. Cain lacked this relationship and trust, as did Teddy’s soldiers. And there are far more people today who try to find the answers within their own making, rather than trusting in His solutions.
So how do we find contentment? It boils down to us choosing it. Contentment is often mind over matter. A by-product, if you will! Remember words that are attributed to the Apostle Paul, “I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.” What he is saying is that we all have the same chance of finding contentment, since it is a by-product of our relationship with Christ, because of His sacrificial gift! Once we realize this, everything else seems to miraculously fall into place for our lives!
7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV
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