By Donald Willis
Contentment is one of the greatest possessions one may have. It is within itself a goal toward which one needs to strive. A truly contented person possesses a balance; the daily pressures and setbacks do not disconcert. One is able to go with the flow of daily activities realizing a Great Hand is directing; therefore, all is well!
One can learn contentment! God even commanded His people too be content. “. . . Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6). An evidence of repentance, John the Baptist taught, was “…be content with your wages” (Lk. 3:14). Paul instructed, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy…” (I Tim. 6:17). Trust God, He will never forsake!
Fulton J. Sheen, in his book, Way To Happiness, states four basic causes of discontentment. The principle cause is egotism or selfishness, which sets the self up as the primary plant around which everyone else must resolve. The second cause is envy, which makes us regard the possessions and talents of others as if they were stolen from us. The third cause is covetousness, or an inordinate desire to have more, in order to compensate for the emptiness of our heart. The fourth cause of discontentment is jealousy and hatred of those who have what we wish for ourselves.
One of the greatest mistakes is to think that contentment comes from something outside us rather than from a quality of the soul. Jesus, in the greatest of all sermons, the Sermon on the Mount, taught that happiness comes from character, and not from things! Anyone can learn that contentment is a human circumstance of life, if the heart is centered in God.
Trying to make a discontented person happy is like trying to fill a sieve with water. However much you pour into it,. it runs out too rapidly for you to catch up. Trust in the Lord!
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 7, p. 210
April 4, 1985