© 2017 by IFP

Want To Know the Secret To Contentment and Lasting Peace In Life?

September 28, 2018

Do you have a sense of contentment in your life? 

 

The Secret to being content may not be what you think! 

 

Read on for the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

I have a Question For You.  Are You Content? 

 

Your answer is important, as it determines whether you are satisfied with your life or not.

 

Contentment is finding that place in your life where you are mentally and  emotionally satisfied with things as they are.

 

Why does Contentment matter?  Because people who are content feel, act, and approach life more positively than people who are not. 

 

One problem with contentment is if you are not content you are DIScontent.  I am not aware of any middle ground.  I mean, can a person be just a 'little' content?

 

 

To be DISCONTENT is to be disgruntled, displeased, and dissatisfied. 

 

Other words associated with being discontent read like the who's who of negativity.

 

To be Discontent is to be disappointed, disenchanted, disillusioned, frustrated, unfulfilled, disquieted, disturbed, perturbed, upset, dejected, depressed, despairing, and/or despondent.

 

Starting to get the ugly picture of discontentment?  What can we say about a person filled with all these self-limiting, self-negating emotions and attitudes?  Discontent is like flesh-eating bacteria – except it eats up your emotional self, destroying your self-esteem and your joy in the process.

 

 

The Good News Is You Can Catapult These Emotional Poisons Out of Your Life!

 

 

The Secret To Finding Contentment:  Change Your Definition of It

 

Much of the problem with Contentment is our culture’s definition of the word.  One popular dictionary defines ‘contentment’ as:

 

the happiness you feel when you have everything you want and you enjoy your life” [1]

 

What?!  No – No – No!!  What a TERRIBLE definition of contentment.  No wonder so many people feel DIScontened and depressed about their lives! 

 

Can you imagine sixth graders sitting in classrooms across the country being given a vocabulary test where this is the required definition of ‘contentment’?

Rotten indoctrination of the worst kind.

 

Here is the Problem with this definition:

 

This definition teaches that contentment can occur ONLY when you have EVERYTHING YOU WANT!  Forgive my shouting but this belief is making millions of people miserable, unhappy, and most of all…Discontent.

 

Without doubt, the most destructive word in this definition is “everything”. 

 

According to this definition, you cannot be content even when you obtain 'some', or even ‘most’, of the things you want in life.  Contentment is reached only when you have acquired “EVERYTHING you want”!

 

This is a total lie.  This definition connects our contentment to the amount of THINGS we acquire in this life – including people.  The truth is, both people and stuff eventually wear out, quit working and disappear from our lives.

 

Don’t misunderstand me.  Things and people bring us varying degrees of satisfaction.  But the better word to apply here is GRATITUDE.  We are grateful and appreciative of the people in our lives and the joy they bring us.  We are grateful and appreciative that we have a roof over our head, a vehicle for transportation and food to eat.  

 

But our CONTENTMENT should not depend on things OUTSIDE of us. 

 

When our contentment depends on people and things outside of us we no longer have control over our contentment. 

 

In turn, we end up living in fear of losing the people and things our contentment is dependent upon. 

 

Further, since our self-peace is dependent on our contentment, we can never have true peace.  Why?  Because the FEAR of losing what makes us content will always be present.  Inner peace and inner fear cannot dwell together in the same person.

 

It becomes a vicious circle:  Things = Contentment = Peace

 

Remove the ‘things’ & your contentment and peace crash down in a heap.

 

 

Contentment Leads To Peace

 

Think how many wars have started because some nation was not content with what they had – they wanted what someone else had.  Peace is commonly defined as the absence of war and conflict.  As long as you are not content with your life you will have no peace in your soul.

 

Peace is a state of mind within you where there is little to no dissatisfaction.  No - this does not mean you have reached a degree of perfection.  It is good to have desires for things you want to do (a bucket list) and goals for self-improvement.

 

BUT – fulfilling these desires and goals do not determine whether you find self-contentment and the resulting peace or not.  Someone said,

 

Content people may not have the best of everything, but  they make the best of everything.

 

There are places I personally want to visit and things I want to accomplish before I die.  Yet as I get older I have accepted the fact I will never visit many of these places nor accomplish many of the things I would like to.

 

Here is the key – This is O.K.!  I will be grateful for the life God has given me and the things He has allowed me to accomplish.  My self-contentment WILL NOT be determined by what has NOT happened in my life.

 

And this contentment gives me a peace of mind.  

 

************************************************************************

 

 

Christianly Speaking

 

Maybe nowhere does the Christian Worldview shine brighter than in the area of contentment and peace. 

 

The worldly definition of contentment (the  happiness you feel when you have everything you want and you enjoy your life) is light years away from the true meaning of Contentment.

 

One of God’s greatest servants, the Apostle Paul, gave us the true meaning of contentment long ago.  While sitting in a prison cell he wrote,

 

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:11-13, NLT)

 

What is Paul saying here:

 

1)  True contentment can be learned.

 

2)  True contentment does not depend on how little, or how much, we possess

 

3)  True contentment depends on having a relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

                   ---   He is the source and strength of your contentment.

 

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

Friend, one day you are going to die.  Please don’t waste your life chasing after contentment as the world falsely defines it.   

 

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived (except for Jesus Christ) perhaps said it best:

 

“If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10, GNT)

 

IT IS USELESS to define your life and your happiness on money, wealth, and others.  Don’t live a USELESS life!

 

 

The secret to finding true contentment?

 

1)  Believe and understand that it is not found in other people and possessions

 

2)  Seek after a true relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ

 

Jesus made the secret crystal clear:

 

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  

 

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  

 

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."           (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT)

 

 

 

Before You Go

 

Thank you for reading to the end of this article. 

 

I’m looking for 1 person – just 1 person who will ‘like’, ‘share’, or ‘comment’ so that a few more people on FaceBook might be able to read this post.   

 

We both know this world is full of people who don't know the true meaning of contentment.

 

A simple ‘click’ on your part may make all the difference in putting them on the path to finding true contentment.

 

Thanks in advance for doing 1 small thing to make a big difference!   

 

For the Family,

--dr. bill

 

 

 

 

 

References

[1]  https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/contentment

 

 

 

 

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