What is the secret to a content life? Is there some formula or simple strategy that we can follow to help us live a life of contentment?
It seems that it is almost human nature to feel discontent. Since the dawn of time people struggled with discontentment. We can even look as far back as to the garden of Eden. In a seemingly perfect place Eve was not content with the abundance that surrounded her. She wanted more.
Could it be that discontentment lead to her disobedience?
Today, we do not have the luxury of living in the full abundance of God – as in Eden but we have our own set of unique struggles to contend with.
For example, technology. Technology is constantly changing, the most exciting new and improved gadget can be waiting at our doorstep within days. Everywhere we look we are inundated with information. Our mind and our eyes are continually flooded with images and ads at every turn. It is no wonder that many of us struggle with contentment.
How can we cultivate a life of contentment? Contentment is simply defined as a “state of happiness and satisfaction”. Why does it seem that living a content life is a fleeting idea for most of us?
The Imperfect Now.
How can we start cultivating a life of contentment – in our imperfect now?
The now where we are not rich, do not have the perfect marriage, or perfect children or perfect job. You know the “now” where laundry piles don’t go away and no matter how much we clean the home seems to always be messy. Yes! THAT now.
Our imperfect real life, not our social media “reality”.
The now where we don’t hit the lottery, where we do not get everything we want, where everything doesn’t always turn out our way, and where people don’t always like us.
THAT NOW. Okay, I think you get the idea.
What is the secret to being content with your life? Could it be as simple as one word?
How do we see our life – our circumstances (both good and bad), our job, our home, our spouse, our children and our possessions? It is all about perspective.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
The apostle Paul teaches us 4 simple steps to living a life of contentment:
Find reasons to be joyful. Our life is filled with blessings and we can see them when we look hard enough. We only need to change our perspective.
2. Pray About Everything
We like to talk, some of us even like to complain. We want to find reasons why things may be going wrong but what if we change our perspective. Instead of complaining about “it”, let’s focus that same energy praying about “it”.
3. Train Your Mind
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Train your mind to focus on the good. Change your perspective.
4. Find Strength in Christ
Changing perspective is not easy or impossible. We can do all things when we rely on Christ and find our strength in Him.
It is important to realize that we can live out these principals at any point in our life. It does not matter if we are young or old, single or married, rich or poor, or or or ….
As I write this something is stirring within me. There is an air of excitement about life. This is not the first time I’ve felt like this and I am sure that it won’t be the last but something in the atmosphere around me shifted.
My circumstances didn’t change.
My finances didn’t change.
My work, position or title didn’t change.
My attitude changed. My perspective changed.
I am not looking forward to some amazing event or vacation (although that is always nice). But I am excited.
Not because all of my prayers were answered, but because God answers prayers.
Not because my children are perfect, but because they are called by God.
Not because my marriage is without disagreements, but because God shows up in the midst of our trials.
Not because I am rich, but because God meets all my needs.
How we walk through life – whether as an overcomer or overwhelmed is about perspective.
I am excited as I am changing my perspective. I am moving away from the “upgrade” mentality.
My perspective is shifting from …
- Replace to Repair
- Spend to Save
- Keep to Release
- Buy to Invest
- More to Less
- Wasted Time to Intentional Living
- Screen Rime to Face to face interactions
- Followers to friends
- TV to Reading
In our home, we are embracing the home cooked meals, game nights and nap time and we are learning to say no to things that don’t bring you joy.
The apostle Paul concluded with these words,
“I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.”
Philippians 4:12-13 The Passion Translation
Let Paul’s words be the guiding principles to seeking contentment in your life in your now.