Contentment is a mindset and it is one that we all need to focus on having (this includes myself at times). I can blog all day long about saving money, beauty, psychology, and health. These indeed are my passions. At the end of the day, none of this matters. We can have all the stuff in the world we could ever want, but it will never fully satisfy us. The one true satisfaction you will ever get is being happy with what you have. As long as our needs are met, we should all be thankful.
Think for a moment about what would happen if disaster struck you today. What if your house was blown away by a tornado? What if you or someone you loved became critically ill? Would you be worried about the makeup in your bag or the outfit you were going to wear? Most of us would answer no to this question. Our concerns would be for the ones we loved. We should remember this every day.
When we are not content with the things we have, we just keep wanting more. We try to fill a void that is there. Discontentment then leads to envy and that in turn leads us down a path of negative emotions. Unfortunately, all the stuff in the world will not satisfy our need for contentment. As with many emotions, contentment can become a mindset.
As with anything, we can change our discontentment behaviors. Do not let anyone ever tell you people do not change. All of us are capable of changing who we are on a daily basis. It starts with changing your mindset. Each and every morning, look around you and think of three things you are thankful for. Are your needs being met? Do you have food? Do you have a job, a car, and on and on? Anytime you become discontent, think of things you do have. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Know that each and every day, there is another person in the world who has it far worse than you do.
Your mindset will change as you practice the art of contentment. You will notice more positivity flowing. Your attitudes will shift into positive behaviors. You will be thankful for the little things you have forgotten about. You will quickly begin to realize that stuff simply does not matter at the end of the day. Those you love, your needs, and your health is what truly matters.
A Inspirational Twist
I may not be the perfect Christian and those who know me know that I have a ton of faults of my own. However, I always find it important to add my faith into my psychology perspectives. It is my faith in God that is more therapeutic to me than anything else this world has to offer. When studying contentment, there was no exception to this rule.
The Apostle Paul speaks to us about contentment in the book of Philippians. You have to understand that Paul is in prison during this time. He is depending on his needs being met by his followers. Yet, he tells us all how to be content. Imagine having nothing, being locked in jail for no good reason, and depending on others to care for you! If Paul can be content under those circumstances, so can we in ours. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. His secret to contentment: Depending on God to meet His needs. It is not and never will be our stuff.
At the end of the day, God is always there to supply us with what we need. When we spend time in prayer and Bible study, a sense of hope and satisfaction rushes over us. God never promises more than meeting our needs. The book of Matthew and Luke both discuss Jesus’s words about the sparrows. In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus tells us that sparrows are not even forgotten before God. Every hair on our head is numbered and we have more value than sparrows. Rest assured, God is watching over us and He will meet our every need. With this alone, we should be content knowing that God places lots of value on you and I.
When you look at Psalm 23 (a Psalm of David), you will see David explaining that the Lord is his Shepard. He will not want or need anything. When we choose God as our guide, we will be truly content.
Wrapping it up
All of us get into the habit of being discontent from time to time. It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting more and more things. I could have a home filled with makeup and I would love it….or would I? You see, at the end of the day, that is not what will make me happy.
Contentment is a choice and a mindset we need to make. Turn contentment into a habit and watch your life take a positive turn. Be thankful for anything that is beyond your needs. Today, I am grateful for the “stuff” I do have. I am glad that I have internet to type this post to you. Mostly, I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my home, and the beautiful family God has given me to love.
*thank you to Simon Maage @ Unsplash for the cover photo