The Discipline of Contentment
By Jennifer McCaman (Journey November 2019)
My younger sister is one of the most modest, least materialistic people I know. It’s deeply irritating. She is rarely enticed to upgrade her stuff, buy the new best thing, or chase the latest trend. She’s unusually content with what she ahs and who she is. Do you have anyone wonderfully annoying like this in your life?
Contentment is an elusive thing for most of us. We have it for a moment, then something better comes along and we chase it. Finding your contentment in Christ is protection over you and your family. It frees you from chasing after the next best thing. It literally puts money in your pocket because you don’t continually need to upgrade your possessions.
I want to start this season of Thanksgiving by practicing the discipline of contentment in my own life. I call contentment a discipline because it must be practiced and fought for with deep intentionality. Everywhere you look, you’ll be enticed to be dissatisfied with what God has given you. To start my November, I will place the following list on my bathroom mirror. As I get ready in the mornings, I will read the following:
I’m content with my home
I’m content with my husband
I’m content with my job
I’m content with my weight
I’m content with the shoes I own
I’m content with my cleaning products
I’m content with my purse
I’m content with my car
I’m content with my makeup
I’m content with my church
I’m content with the clothes my children wear
I’m profoundly content in Christ Jesus
When I first started practicing the discipline of contentment in Jesus, I was amazed at how many encounters with others – even friends – seemed to threaten my contentment. Someone would evangelize a new line of products that would make me happier. I would listen, but inside I would to myself, I’m already content in Christ. I don’t need this new thing
No advertiser on earth wants you to be content. They bank on making us feel insecure, unhealthy, bored, outdated, and ready to spend spend spend for the illusion of making your life better,, They’ll sell you friendship, promises, dreams, goals, new products, healthy living, and everything else.
When you are content, you don’t fall victim to scams. You aren’t needy for a new great deal or trend to give you that buzz. You don’t hold out your hands to others to meet your needs. You aren’t easy prey for the enemy.
Your source of satisfaction is Christ within you, not something external. Dare to be content in Jesus. Seek your contentment in Christ every day. Look in the mirror and name your blessings. Be on guard when others – even friends and family – try to entice you to drink from some other well besides Jesus to better your life. Christ alone is able to make you profoundly, richly, content in Him. He will do it faithfully if you seek Him.