Waaaay back at the beginning of this series I shared one of the truths of living well: We can be content. This week, we’re going to spend some time unpacking this concept and exploring what true contentment looks like in the heart, mind, and life of a believer.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
Paul says he learned to be content. What does it mean to learn something? Here’s what I found learn means:
- to acquire knowledge of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience
- to become informed of or acquainted with; ascertain
- to memorize
- to gain (a habit, mannerism, etc.) by experience, exposure to example, or the like; acquire
As I read those definitions, I realized contentment, like so many other aspects of our Christian life, is rooted in discipline. Contentment comes as we act. How do we take action to develop contented hearts?
Study the character of God.
Spend time in the Word. There is no substitute for studying Scripture if we want to grow in our understanding of God’s faithfulness and love. As we gain deeper knowledge of His character and provision, we are able to know more gratitude for all He is and all He does on our behalf. This awareness should push us toward a contended life in Him.
Determine your focus.
Where do you struggle with contentment? Do you often get bogged down by life’s difficulties and fail to see God’s provision? It happens to all of us at times. But what if we were determined to be content? What if we battled our longing for more or different with the truth of God’s care and love? We must determine ourselves to choose contentment and be proactive in rejecting the thoughts and values which can push us away from this discipline.
Memorize the Word.
There is no better way to challenge the lie of discontent than with the truth of God’s Word! Knowing Scripture and having it embedded on our hearts and in our minds is a powerful weapon. Spend time memorizing verses that speak of God’s provision and faithfulness in our lives.
Acquire the habit of gratitude.
Make gratitude a habit! There is great value in being thankful … and a heart filled with gratefulness will also be a heart filled with contentedness. When we look at the gifts of grace God has given us, the abundance of His provision and protection in our lives, our focus will be changed from what we don’t have to what we do have. Be intentional about giving thanks.
Contentment is one of the greatest marks of a mature believer. This week we’ll be exploring some practical applications and biblical examples of contented lives. I’m excited about this week. It’s going to be good!!
Thanks for joining me!
In what areas of your life do you struggle with contentment?
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All the 31 Days of Living Well posts are indexed here.