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Contentment is never found in things

The Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment as “An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances.”

Although it’s one of the most valuable things on earth, how to attain it is highly controversial.

Humanity gropes for solutions but wealth, prestige, glamour, sexuality, substance abuse and rebellion have all failed spectacularly.

If they had simply asked God, they would have known that it only exists in the spiritual realm. Physical circumstances are immaterial to spiritual contentment and we can choose it regardless of what’s happening around us.

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:6-7, NKJV).

Materialism is petty and small and chasing it will distract us from what matters.

Contentment is found in simplicity, not in grandeur. Plato said, “The greatest wealth is to live content with less.” Building mountains of posesssions to impress the world will leave us hollow inside.

Newer, brighter and shinier will never penetrate deeply enough to matter. Someone will always have something better. The chase will be endless.

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have” (Socrates).

Paul learned to be content with less (Philippians 4:11-12). Jesus, who had “nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58), taught us the secret of simplicity and we need to listen carefully (Matthew 6:25-34).

Contentment will be found in the small areas of life. Pearl S. Buck said, “Many people lost the small joys in life in the hope for the big happiness.”

When our hearts are in heaven, the things of this world lose their allure and we’re free to chase what really matters (Philippians 3:20). It can only be found in something bigger than ourselves.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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