Are you content? It’s easy to get distracted by what we don’t have and forget about what we do have. This happens in both life and business.
There is a need to be content for all humans. So how do you become content?
Let’s begin with what Scripture tells us.
1 Timothy 6:8 reads, But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel contentment and not want more when our basic needs are provided for? What Paul is reminding us in this verse is that we need to discern between our wants and needs. When we experience contentment with what we have, we can strive less. Striving less, not having to churn out as many results, reduces stress and the risk of burnout. Ask yourself what you are striving for and if it is a need or want.
Discernment as to why you want something is key for deciding whether or not to put emphasis on, and energy into, it. Do you want success because you’ve been taught that success will make you happy? Is the emphasis on making 7-figures driving you to strive for more and more? Has what other people have and do led you to feel less than so you think you need to do and be more to be happy?
Put God at the Center
Similar to discernment, we should ask ourselves if what we want is going to honor God. Is it a necessity for our well-being or for fulfilling our calling? Or is it a luxury or something someone else has so we think we need it? 1 Timothy 6:6 reminds us that Godliness with contentment is great gain. When we honor God and put Him at the forefront, seeking His advice and guidance, we will make better decisions. If we rely on The Holy Spirit to guide us, we can trust that we are on the right path. Then we will feel content with what God is doing in our lives.
When we put God at the Center of our desires and decisions, we can alleviate worry and anxiety. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are reminded to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. Trusting that He cares for us and will provide all our needs, allows us to feel content. But the key is to not let want of something that we don’t need cause anxiety and worry.
In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests
to God.” I want to emphasize Thanksgiving. Of course, we can ask God for anything, but when we are first grateful for what we have, we see our blessings and don’t have a constant need for more.
Psalm 107:1 reminds us to have gratitude, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” His love endures forever! Certainly, something to be grateful for. Because of that love, we can be assured, we are taken care of and can live in contentment. Likewise, Ephesians 5:20 reminds us, “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Again in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are reminded to express our gratitude. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Gratitude is a natural antidepressant. When you express gratitude your brain releases positive neurochemicals. The more gratitude you express, the more content you will feel and the happier you will be.
Comparison will strip you of contentment. What someone else has or does has nothing to do with your success or happiness. Realizing that you can grow your business without social media, you can achieve success without social media, if it is taking you down the track of comparison, avoid it.
If you recognize that you are comparing yourself, stop and make a list of everything you are grateful for. This exercise will bring you back to a place of contentment and trust that God will provide all you need. Everything else is icing on the cake.
Make a list of what you want and what you need
Try it. Make a list of your wants and your needs. If I were a betting person, I’d say your list of wants is bigger than your list of needs. When you write the list and see it, your brain will register that you are well cared for and you will be able to feel content.
In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul shared “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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Oh, I wish I could be more like Paul. Do you?
We can! We simply have to trust the way he trusted.
When doubt is present, finding contentment will be harder
There is no doubt of the need to be content. However, doubt and fear may result in a lack of contentment. When that happens, refer to these scripture verses.
In Matthew 6: 25-27 we read, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
When worry and anxiety have you doubting that what you have is enough, remember what Matthew said. If God takes care of the first, will He not take care of us? Of course, He will. That’s not to say life will be easy, but the more content you are when life is good, the better you’ll handle it when life throws you a curve ball.
What being content doesn’t mean
Being content doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard or want to achieve. Nor does it mean to give up because something isn’t working. Contentment means you look at what you have or have done and you recognize the blessings God has provided. It’s a matter of acceptance and gratitude. Resting in the here and now, where God has placed you – for His purpose. It’s about not wanting more just to have more. But readily communicating with God so that you know what He wants for you – which is always better than what we could want for ourselves.
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