A Heart of Contentment
Susanne Scheppmann

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

Contentment eludes most of us much of the time. We covet what others have that we do not. It may be beauty, cars, homes, thinness, sex appeal, clothes, money, or a host of other items or qualities that we value. Day after day, we hear how inadequate our lives are without all of these things. Advertisers coax us with the promise that if we purchase their products, then we will be happy and, best of all, others will covet what we have.

Today as I sat down to work, I felt anxious and irritable. My mind raced on about what would make me happier and more content. My thoughts hopped from weight-loss, to more money, to a needed vacation, to less pressure in work, and to maybe a facelift.

Perhaps it’s not my face that needs a lift, but my life. Hmmm ... I definitely need a life-lift. I had just read a magazine with pictures included about Hollywood hot couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Discontent and depression crept in as I read each paragraph and looked at the airbrushed photos. Yes, I admit, I devoured the whole silly article. I bought into the lie of this world that my life didn’t measure up.

My dysfunctional thinking eventually landed me in bed—depressed. Then, I reminded myself I had a devotion to write. I went for a long walk around my neighborhood. The sun shone brightly, a breeze blew briskly, the birds chirped, and I felt God’s whisper in my spirit, “Now, Susanne, what more do you really need?” Tears sprang to my eyes. I admitted humbly that I need nothing. “Oh, Father, forgive me,” I prayed. “Why do I always want more and more?”

Are you battling discontent and depression? Does getting out of bed seem like a monumental task? If yes, let’s decide together to follow the advice of Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (NIV) The term fear means to revere and respect. When we grumble with discontent, we are demonstrating our lack of reverence and respect of what God has supplied in our lives. Our key verse, “Godliness with contentment is great gain,” points us to what brings a heart of contentment—godliness with contentment.

A heart of contentment awaits. Let’s allow it to become a reality in our lives today.

Dear Lord, I thank You for all the blessings You have given so graciously to me. Please forgive my discontent and grumbling. Help me discover the contentment that comes only when I place You first in my life. Teach me to keep a heart of contentment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Perplexing Proverbs by Susanne Scheppmann

Come Thirsty: No Heart Too Dry for His Touch by Max Lucado

Application Steps:
In a notebook list at least twenty-five blessings that God has provided for you. Review the list when you feel thoughts of discontent creeping into your mind. Memorize 1 Timothy 6:6 and Proverbs 16:23.

Reflections:
What prompts my discontent? (magazines, TV, movies, etc.)

Do I revere and respect God?

Am I grateful for the blessings in my life?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (NIV)

Philippians 4:11-12, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (NIV)

Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (NIV)

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this at the end of a very difficult day. I found it encouraging, making me focus on what is really important in my life, not the things I don't have. Only Jesus can truly satisfy. Taking our eyes off Him is what causes discontentment to begin with. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how you have raised such a critical issue...one that I believe is at the heart of the breakdown of families today. When we pick up magazines and watch TV to an excessive degree, we start to believe that our lives should be like that of the celebrities or characters we watch. This is such a misleading lie from the evil one. God wants us to LIVE our lives. Yes we should be in the world to some degree so that we can communicate the Word of God to others, but sometimes we get caught up in what we see.

I challenge anyone who spends time in front of the TV daily or regularly reads those silly magazines to turn it off or put it down for one day...one week...one month. Enroll in a class at a craft store, pick up a hobby, read a novel, play a game with your kids. You will be amazed at how much more fulfilling your life will become!

Anonymous sarah said...

Thanks so much for this reminder! It seems that every area of my life is plagued with discontentment. When we take our focus off the Master, we have nothing to look at except the world. I am so ashamed and embarrassed. I praise God for His gentle reminders and His forgiveness.

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