Enemies of Contentment

Posted by on Mar 12, 2021 in Articles | 0 comments

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11

Oftentimes I find myself struggling to remain content. It seems I forget to be happy with what I have because my eyes keep seeing and ultimately wanting the latest and greatest. There is nothing wrong with having things and enjoying activities in this life, even Abraham and Job are described as wealthy men but the problem comes when I can’t be content and become obsessively covetous.

Contentment is a learned attitude (Phil 4:11). One way to learn this trait is to have a mind set on good things (Phil. 4:8). A positive attitude takes us a long way and I know from experience when I think of good things it becomes far easier to be content with the present. On the other hand, when my mindset is negative, I feel like nothing is good enough no matter how blessed I am.

It requires discipline (1 Tim 6:8) and sometimes that is a hard thing to obtain. Our favorite magazines, TV and the internet all advertise to our interest. Funny thing is, would having all this stuff really even insure happiness or guarantee success in our interest? Sometimes the answer could be yes. If that’s so, it might be good to work to acquire those particular items but by and large the answer is no. Those things we desire would not help one bit…..it’s just more stuff. Anyone who has the things that are truly needed is such a blessed person.

As Christians, we are commanded not to be covetous persons but rather trusting. Hebrews 13:5 says, “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.” We know following God’s commands leads us to peace and stability in this life (1 John 5:3).

Certainly, we could go on for pages and pages on the enemies of contentment but I choose to conclude with this thought: what is most important to me? Nothing in this life is worth losing my soul. Mark 8:35-38 asks us, “what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” If I focus on being content here and working toward heaven, I will subdue all enemies of contentment. 

Jason Barger

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