"...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." -Philippians 4:11b
Contentment is an attitude choice. It takes effort, but is so worth it. We've all seen people that are rich and have every material thing, but are very unhappy, and also the little kid living in poverty with a big smile on his face. What is the difference?
- Contentment is the ability to chose to be satisfied with what and where God has placed you in your life and to make the very best of that situation.
- To make the best of everything, even when you don't necessarily have the best of everything.
It is easy to look at negative aspects in our lives and sometimes wish for something in someone else's "more perfect" life that we see on facebook, pinterest, instagram, watch in movies and shows, hear in songs, or read in books. But, instead of looking around at everyone else and seeing how awful you've got it, be thankful for what you have and where you are, and make it beautiful! It is great to dream about where you want to be in life, but don't just wish about it to the point of only seeing the negative of where you are. Make goals for what you would like and put the work in towards the steps to achieve that goal!
We often think well I'd be "happy if" I did this, or if I moved there, or if I had a nicer house, or had more money, or was in this relationship, but the truth is contentment is a choice of attitude. If you are unhappy and discontent now where you are, that is going to follow you even to where you say you would be most "happy if".
Once you've learned to see the beauty in the mud, and chosen contentment over comparison, you'll feel a huge burdening weight of the depressing, pulling-down, feeling of dissatisfaction lifted off your shoulders! There is so much beauty all around us, if only we would take the time to see it!
Thankfulness, joy, and contentment are very closely related.
When you intentionally chose to be thankful,
joy and contentment are produced.
joy and contentment are produced.
Here are practical 6 ways to choose contentment everyday:
1. Look around and find something or someone that you are thankful for right now. Find 5 things a day and write them down somewhere that you'll see them often and/or in your journal. Then every time you think of something you're grumpy about, replace it with one of those 5 things. Practice makes perfect; when you practice thinking contentedly and thankfully, it starts to become a habit.
2. Instead of looking at a hopeless pile of dirty dishes in the sink and griping about having to wash them, be thankful that you get to wash them because you have them to eat off of, and you had food to eat!
3. Stop looking at everyone else's joys and wishing they were yours. Start noticing and appreciating your own! There are so many others that wish they where in your shoes.
4. Look up verses in the Bible about contentment, joy, and thankfulness and memorize them.
Here are a few to get you started: Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:11-13, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Psalm 118:24, Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 15:13, Hebrews 13:5, Nehemiah 8:10, Galatians 5:22, Proverbs 17:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
5. Help someone else!
6. And finally, set goals to get where you're trying to go and start accomplishing them, but only after you decide to be content right where you are.
So will you join me today in choosing contentment?
Will you decide to start being satisfied with the blessings God has already given you?
I assure you, it is a lot more pleasant, uplifting,
and fun than wishing, wanting, or complaining. :-)