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Contentment. The Apostle Paul learned it (Phil 4:11). Moses practiced it (Ex 2:21). The promise of godliness with it is a great advantage (1 Tim 6:6). Contentment is more than an elusive, abstract idea. One descriptive scripture that speaks to the value of contentment comes from Job 20:20: “Because he knew no contentment in his belly, he will not let anything in which he delights escape him” (ESV). The CSB translation is helpful presenting, “Because his appetite is never satisfied.” The description from Job is of one who chases after every shiny trinket, bauble, and doodad that catches their eye. The one who lives discontentedly will find water, but always be thirsty. Eat, but never be satisfied. Contentment is a spiritual discipline necessary for a thriving life and ministry. How does a pastor, how does a Christian develop godliness with contentment?
First, define what contentment is and what it is not.
Speaker - Contentment - Feelings - Happiness - Situation
Searching a dictionary, and asking my smart speaker, I discovered that contentment is a noun defined as “feelings of happiness in one’s situation in life.” Defining contentment was helpful but knowing its antonym, discontentment, is even more beneficial. Discontentment can be defined as a noun, a verb or even an adjective. As a noun discontent, “describes a restless desire or craving for something one does not have.” As a verb discontent is to “make dissatisfied, displeased.” As an adjective discontent means showing or experiencing dissatisfaction, a restless longing, a longing for something better.
Anxiety does not create contentment. Nor is the contented person restless. Contentment is not grown by what one does or does not have. Contentment is knowing, by faith, that for those who seek the Lord this situation is precisely where and what He has for you. Learning contentment asks of the Lord, who sets the times and boundaries of...
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