How to Find Contentment

Contentment, who doesn’t want it. People go to great lengths to find it. Most such efforts inevitably seek it in material goods. Material goods are good, but alone are a distraction, often leading to the absence of contentment.

We live in a society where more is better, but more is never enough.

If your contentment is contingent upon things, it is inevitable you will suffer discontent because invariably there will be times you don’t have certain things. There are things that aid contentment which money can’t buy.  Money can buy – – –

        A bed but not sleep.

        Books but not brains.

        A house but not a home.

        Medicine but not health.

        Food but not an appetite.

        Amusement but not happiness.

        A crucifix but not a Saviour.

In her book entitled: “Living on Less and Enjoying It More,” Maxine Hancock said of contentment: “Similar to happiness, that greatly sought-after but always elusive goal of society.  However, it is deeper and more fulfilling than happiness.  It is a quiet plateau that can be reached internally even when there seems little external reason for it.”

That “quiet plateau” is reachable by means of “godliness with contentment.”

There were other ancient sayings circulating at the time of the writing of I Timothy which closely parallel this quote.

Democritus reputedly used the word “avarice” as a summary for improper love of money and said, “Expel avarice, the mother of all wickedness, who, always thirsty for more, opens wide her jaws of gold.”

“Always thirsty for more” describes our era. I repeat, we live in a day when more is better but more is never good enough. This “more syndrome” causes perpetual discontent.

Epicurus, building on the philosophy of Democritus said, “To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough.” 

When used in the New Testament “contentment” is used as a noun The Greek word is “autarkeia,” meaning self-sufficiency, carrying the secret of fulfillment in yourself, completely independent of outward things. 

Godliness and contentment are Siamese twins joined at the cerebral cortex. That is, they are inseparable. Yet, many people still seek contentment by ungodly means. That’s like trying to find a black palomino. 

If there is godliness there is contentment. In seeking to be more like Jesus one awakens to find self content. Now that you know where it is, go seek your objective: to be like Jesus. Therein is contentment.