Being Content

By John Lysaught


The world is against us on all sides. The devil and the world are in battle with us on all fronts; spiritually, physically on all levels every day, every moment.  One of the ways that the world and Satan try to snare us is by using the world against us in our contentment with what we have.

Are you content?  Being content is being satisfied with what you have. Pretty simple concept, huh?  But do we really live that way? Are we truly content with what we have in this life?  

Whether you are rich, middle class or poor, are you content? Designer clothes, the latest fad, wanting a bigger house, a nicer yard, that perfect job, that perfect family, etc., is this what we are looking for?  I would say that most people, yes, even Christians are not content with what they have. It seems to me that a lot of people are always trying to keep up with the Jones’ (with material things in life instead of focusing on Jesus and being happy with what they have). 

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

But do we live that way? No. I’m guilty of this and only today realized that I should be content with what I have. I have been caught-up in the world of wanting more and more, bigger and bigger, this and that, that and this. All of that really doesn’t matter to my spiritual well-being or my walk with Jesus. My worldly desires are just that: worldly desires.  And you know what? I’m ashamed of myself for this. 

Having worldly desires is a tool that Satan uses to drive a wedge between us and our spiritual walk with Jesus. The world and Satan wants us to have desires for the latest fades, clothes, etc. to distract us from what is most important: our relationship with Jesus.  Want a bigger house? You have to work harder, longer, get a job you don’t like but pays more, just so you can pay for a bigger house that costs more in the mortgage, bigger utility bills, more maintenance and such which takes away from you and your walk with Jesus. 

Whether you live in a 5,000 square foot house or a 500 square foot apartment, you should be content with what you have and your place in life.  Does that mean you shouldn’t seek higher education or that promotion? Not necessarily, but be content with what you have and if the Lord blesses you with the opportunity to seek higher education, or gives you a promotion at your job, then accept those blessings, but don’t seek them out because you are not content with your possessions or your place in life.  Don’t seek these things to just keep up with the neighbors or to get worldly possession or to make your life easier, just be content with what you have and who you are.

God didn’t make a mistake when He made us. He knew you before you were born. He knows what kind of person you will become, what job you will have, what things you have, your desires, your wants, yet all he really wants is for you to be content and to love Him. Is that so hard?  Is it so hard to be just content with life and love Jesus?  Yes it is—for some.

Some people want all the things the world has to offer, even Christians. Their priorities have been skewed by Satan that seeking more and more worldly things (nice cars, fancy houses, all the toys, etc.) is okay. Is it a surprise that that average credit card debt in America is so high? People are spending outside of their means to get the things they want like bigger TV’s, nicer cars, newest clothing styles, the best shoes, etc. 

I’m as guilty as the average Joe on this.  Until today, I didn’t realize that I was not content with what I have and because of that I’m in debt. I have toys I don’t need, and things that I could do without.  Now that I realize this, my attitude will change. I am now content with what I have and believe I have too much stuff now.  I resolve to not seek out the best of the best or more stuff just to have more stuff that I don’t really need.

Philippians 4:11-13:Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every- where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

I grew up very poor.  I remember finding a bag of groceries on our doorstep on Thanksgiving mornings and I remember getting toys from charities for Christmas and using duct tape to fix my shoes that were too small for my feet.  Some of you can relate and some of you can’t, but as a kid I was content with what I had, even though it wasn’t much.

Throughout the years God has blessed me with a good job with a great income and I am no longer poor, but I’m not rich either; I’m just a bit higher than average middle class. I should be content right? But I haven’t been. I wanted my kids to have all the new stuff, my wife to have the latest Coach purse, to have the new car, the 5th  wheel trailer for the truck, all these things I really didn’t need— but bought anyway—because I wasn’t being content with what I had.  I wanted more and more stuff because I wanted them, not because I needed them.

Shouldn’t we be content with what we have? Shouldn’t we have contentment of who we are and our place in life? Regardless of your standing or your possessions, the most important thing is to be content with those things and who you are and seek Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  We should be seeking Jesus, not the latest iPad.

We should be seeking Jesus instead of working longer hours to afford that BMW that you have dreamed of having. We should be seeking the Lord instead of seeking all the worldly things the world has been stuffing down our throats that the world says we need to be “happy” in this life. Happiness is found in only one thing and that is our relationship with Jesus.

Seek out Jesus and you will receive blessings from Him. They may or may not be material things or wealth, but he may bless you with better health, a softer heart, a love for others, and most important, he will bless you with eternal life. 

1 Timothy 6:6-8: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

Being content is also being strong in the Lord, for he strengthens us. Not being content, shows us that we are still affected and driven by the world and not by Jesus our Lord.  We must seek the Lord and be content with our lives as they are now and be patient for the plans the Lord has for each of us. What those plans are may be revealed to you already, or they may not have been revealed. We must remain content with our lives and wait patiently for the Lord’s direction.

Being content in what we have and what we are is also tied to loving ourselves for whom and what we are.  If you don’t love yourself, as the Lord loves you, how can you have that full relationship with the Lord? For not being content with yourself will affect your walk with Jesus. If you are content with yourself then kudos to you, you are ahead of the game. 

At times I’m not content with myself and don’t love myself as I should and when that happens I do feel a separation from the Lord. For me that lack of love comes from the chemical imbalance in my mind that causes major depressive disorder.

When I have a “flare” of that depression, I feel worthless and not worthy of myself or the Lord. I pray earnestly for that feeling to dissipate because logically I know I am wrong for feeling that way but emotionally, at the time, I feel as I do: I don’t love and am not content with myself.

I believe that there are a lot of people out there who don’t love themselves as they should, as the Lord want us to. He loves us unconditionally and we should love ourselves unconditionally. This is a lesson I’m working on in myself and for those of you out there that feel this way, know that you should love yourself as the Lord loves you: unconditionally.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that contentment of our life and us is important in our walk with Jesus.  He is our life, He is our hope, and He is the way to eternity in heaven.  Be content with what you have and what you are. You are a child of the Most High God who loves you and only wants your heart; not the things you have, not the material things you want, but your heart and your love for Him. Don’t let what you have define your relationship with Jesus, but let your heart for Jesus define you and be content with yourself, your place in life, and most important be content in the Lord, for He will provide what you need.

Let the things of this world go and don’t get pulled into the belief of the world that you need stuff to be happy. Be content with what you have, not want you want and your relationship with Jesus will grow, will be refreshed, and will be filled with love and blessings.

I’m in the same boat as a lot of you out there and this article is not just for you, but a lesson for me as well. I intend to strive to be content with I have and will be content with who I am. I will turn my ways around and will focus more on my relationship with the Lord and not the material things in this world. There is a difference in our needs and wants: I want the Lord.

Proverbs 14:30: “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

John Lysaught

John_lysaught@yahoo.com

All Scripture citations are from the King James Version of the Bible.