But godliness with contentment is great gain. – 1 Tim. 6:6
There are many things that people choose to measure life by (e.g. material wealth, possessions, prestige, power, influence, legacy). And as a result, many people end up treating life like one big competition – looking for the next big win and longing for the next big thing. But God isn’t keeping score by these standards, and our souls and relationships suffer when we become focused on our “position” in life.
We can become so fixated on “winning” that we can completely lose our joy. We kid ourselves by believing that we’ll be happy when this or that happens, when we reach the next point or when so-and-so does such-and-such. All this waiting and wanting because we aren’t thankful for the resources we already have, the beautiful people in our life or the ways seasons mold us.
The testimony of scripture is that everything we have is a gift from God – our jobs, our relationships, our resources are all gifts that we are to be thankful for and steward. Our temptation is often to want out of the difficult seasons in our life or to get bored when people or things become too predictable. We look for what is new instead of loving what we have. We look for things to be right instead of making things right.
Contentment is a beautiful thing that flows from healthy souls. It’s an attitude of appreciation for what we have and it guards us against longing for what we don’t. When we’re content; we give thanks for the wonderful people in our life instead of wanting new people in our life, we give thanks for our job instead of looking for a new one, we seek to understand and thank God for where we are and what he’s already doing in and through us.
This week, practice a rhythm of contentment.
When you feel tempted to “compete” in life or measure yourself against a certain “position,” if you feel at angst and have no joy, stop and give thanks. Give thanks to God for your “place,” your people and your resources. Ask him to show you what he’s up to, what you can learn in this season, how you can contribute and grow, and ask him to give you peace in your heart and gratitude in your life.