Contentment is defined, in general, as a state of happiness and satisfaction. Notice the word “state”. State implies an ongoing place of happiness and satisfaction.
Does that mean that we don’t encounter troubles which can topple us from that position of contentment? Of course not! Throughout our lives, we have all been subjected to stuff that throws us off the balance beam of contentment.
My husband and I have been married for 44 years and we have raised two sons. That means 44 years of troubles which the enemy used to threaten our stability as a family and also threatened me as a woman and mother. Of course, we experienced many, many good times. I’m talking relationally, financially, spiritually, and in whatever way, the enemy can use to try to topple our state of contentment.
Now when stuff happens I try to bring to memory how my God took care of us through the troubles thrown at us. I haven’t always lived in that state or attitude. It has taken many years of a constantly growing relationship with my Creator to build that trust within myself and know, just know that all will be well because only He is our provider of contentment.
A few years ago, finding ourselves in a new season of life, my husband and I decided to downsize dramatically. Our sons are grown, married and with children of their own. We decided to sell our home and live a minimal lifestyle. At first, I paid for a storage unit to store all our belongings. I have to give credit to my husband for helping me learn to live contentedly without all that stuff. It has taken me many years and I still struggle. But I’m getting there.
I think Philippians 4:12-13 describes my life perfectly. “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.” (NIV)
So I’d like to share a couple of things I’ve learned about living a lifestyle of contentment.
- Whether I have an overabundance, plenty to survive, or in need; I absolutely KNOW that my God will provide for me! He has proven it in the past and since He is a God who doesn’t change, I expect He will continue to do so today and in the future.
- The key to #1 above is to bring to remembrance ALL He has done for me in the past. We have never been without food, shelter or clothing even though, at the time of need, I had no idea where these things would come from.
- When in a time of plenty, I need to remember to refrain from an attitude of arrogance. I need to remember Who provided the plenty.
- It helps with getting into a state of contentment if I share my plenty with others in need. God will bring those individual people to you. This happened to us just this week.
Yes, contentment is an attitude. Yes, contentment is a lifestyle. Yes, contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction, regardless of what we are experiencing in the flesh.
Gloria Boone is a Certified Life Coach with a passion for investing in the personal growth of women. You can find more about Gloria and her ministry at DestinyCoaching.