“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
-Philippians 4:11 KJV
Oh to be content! Isn’t that what we long for? Not the kind of contentment that has the connotation of settling, but the one that comes from the Greek autarkes, that peacefulness that remains no matter your circumstances.
Too often, we are discontent. We constantly knock on heaven’s door to list our complaints and how we can be satisfied. You know what I mean. 😉 Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who says these prayers:
“Lord, if I could just make more money than I can buy x, y, and z.”
“Lord, if you could bless me with a bigger house ~ then I will have room for x, y, and z.”
Never mind the fact that God provided me with the money to eat, clothe me, and pay all my bills, and to furnish my current dwelling place. No, my eyes have been on my neighbors possessions and wishing I had more. I’m pretty sure there’s a commandment about that.
But a state of discontentment isn’t just about possessions. Sometimes it’s truly about the lack of peace of mind. We storm the gates of heaven’s with prayers regarding conflict.
“Lord, if my husband would just do as I ask, I’d be content.”
“Lord, if my husband would only take initiative instead of waiting for me to ask for something, I’d be content.”
I don’t know about you but my prayers make me sound slightly unhinged and ungrateful. The problem all lies within our heart. When we take the moment to turn our eyes upon the Lord and empty ourselves in front of Him, contentment happens. How can it not when the Lord then fills us with living water? How can we not experience autarkes when we’ve eaten the Word of God and been fed?
To be content is a daily practice. (Okay, probably one “by the minute” in my case.) When my thoughts and wishes and desires begin to stray from the Lord, that’s the moment I must empty myself and seek Him first.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
-Matthew 6:33 KJV
Contentment is a sign of surrender. Surrender leads to righteousness. Righteousness leads to contentment.
Have you learned to be content? What steps do you take? Please share in the comments below.