Contentment

Each of us is in passionate pursuit of something or someone in life. It’s that object, event or person on which we spend our time, resources and focus trying to achieve or conquer. It could be that bigger home, newer car, dream career or perfect spouse. It might be fame, fortune or a trim/fit body. For those who believe they are lucky enough and achieve that dream, then what? Are they satisfied and content? Most would answer with a resounding “No.” That thing, person or gadget that was so necessary for their happiness falls short. The one thing or person they thought could take away their pain or give them joy does not come close.

It becomes a vicious cycle:  maybe the next conquest or acquisition will bring true happiness or contentment. There is no correlation between having abundant worldly possessions and being happier. In fact, more times than not, the opposite rings true. Oftentimes, we lean our ladder against the wrong wall.

We are looking to be fulfilled and satisfied in all the wrong ways, means and places. What then is our real purpose and passion in life? In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul is supremely passionate about two things:  first, a relentless pursuit to intimately know Jesus Christ; second, to make Him known to the world. In his passion to know Jesus deeper, he experienced deep joy and contentment not based on circumstance but on a relationship with his Savior. Paul endured much suffering, hardship and adversities; but because of his deep, rich relationship with Jesus, he had come to learn Jesus was more than enough. Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

We live in a culture that almost breeds discontentment. The worlds of marketing and slick advertising campaigns are designed to make you unhappy and keep you in a constant state of want. After what are you chasing? Have you found that deep joy and contentment that supersedes possessions and circumstances?

Pure contentment comes from God. In Philippians 4:11, Paul states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” True contentment comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus. May I suggest pursuing God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?

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