What is contentment? Inner joy despite our outward circumstances.
Today, I am sharing a brief, but influential story regarding contentment. Luke 21:1-4 states:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” NIV
As this passage starts, we find Jesus observing various people giving their temple offerings. Some givers were wealthy and gave substantial offerings. These wealthy givers could give out of their abundance without thought to what they were giving. But then a poor widow comes along and gives just two copper coins.
And Jesus’ response? Jesus states she has given more than the others, a statement that must have seemed confusing at first. So, He goes on to explain that instead of giving out of wealth, she has given out of her poverty. Instead of holding back what little she did have, she places all she had to live on into the temple treasury.
My God, could I ever be this woman? A woman that is so content in life and with her walk with the Lord that she gave without fear of the future.
1 Timothy 6:7-8 says:
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. NIV
People who are truly content are not inclined to complain or grumble. Their positive attitudes protect them against envy. And because their desires do not exceed their means, they spare themselves needless anxiety and stress over unnecessary things or desires. What if the secret to true contentment is found in the exact opposite of what we have been looking for? What if contentment is not found in accumulating more, but is found in giving more? Contentment can only be found when we trust God to provide all that we need.
If life only consisted of what you have achieved or what you own, then what ultimate meaning would there be to life at all?
Acts 20:35 says:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ NIV
Contented people are often generous people and they enjoy serving and giving to others. Without intending to, they gain an abundance of what no amount of money can buy, such as love, respect, and genuine friendships. They often are the recipients of generous acts.
Luke 6:38 declares:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” NIV
We cannot be rooted in contentment if we harbor distrust and/or stress, and if we are constantly focused on our own situation. That is what a state of discontentment looks like and being discontent will prevent God from being able to work in our hearts and minds.
So how can we find contentment in an age of dissatisfaction? By relying solely on the God who made us and loves us; the God who leads us beside quiet waters and restores our souls; the God who strengthens us no matter what our circumstances are.
Contented believers choose to have less desire for more of anything outside of God. They choose to find fulfillment, meaning, value, and relationships that honor God. They choose a heart posture that reflects the joy in what God has already given them. In other words, they choose true contentment. They know God is more than enough and that He is what they really desire and long for. A pure state of contentment naturally leads to outward generosity which leads to effective kingdom impact.
Contentment is one of those things everyone wants, but we must choose to possess it, ladies!
As I was researching contentment, here are a few quotes that I came across that I hope provokes you to deeper thought:
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu.
“I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Persian Proverb.
“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.” – Source Unknown
“Some people are so poor that all they have is money.” – Source Unknown
My God, it really is a paradigm shift for us to center Christ as our source of contentment.
Contentment is the attitude of accepting whatever God provides and being happy with it. It does not seek further gratification or happiness in the shallow things of life. When you are more concerned with how others are doing than how you are doing, you know you are on the right track.
Jesus makes a significant statement in praising this woman’s offering! God wants us to know He takes great joy in providing for us, and He is more than capable of providing for any need we have. Christ even teaches us to pray with determined contentment in the Father’s provision in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
We must realize God is the ultimate provider of our needs and that realization alone can become the source of our contentment. Start with the truth of God’s sufficiency and allow Him to grow a contented heart within you. Let’s lock arms, sisters, and have heart postures that aspire to be more like our model of contentment, the generous widow. May we all reach such a place in our walk with God that we live without fear of the future because our fulfillment comes from the Lord alone!
Written by Stacha Ashburn
Please note all scripture was taken from the NIV.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.