If you take a casual stroll around any bookstore, you’ll notice the world’s message that the only way to contentment is to have more and be more. You need a better body, a nicer sports car, and a better-looking spouse.
You need to be more charming, more intelligent, and more influential. But this “have more, be more” message can lead to discontentment.
How to Be Content with What You Have
Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘I will never leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Raise a Barrier
Part of the definition of the Greek word translated “content” is “to ward off.” It’s related to another word meaning “to raise a barrier.” This is interesting because I once thought contentment was only attained by being happy with what I have. However, these definitions remind me that being content has as much to do with keeping what’s bad out as it does with appreciating what I already possess.
I once visited a series of large, luxurious homes with a friend. My eyes drank in the beauty of the decor at each address. I admired the ornate furnishings, updated kitchens, and lush backyard landscapes.
When I arrived back home, I felt empty and discontent. I was disappointed I didn’t have more. Yep, just as the Bible says, we must guard against being ungrateful for what God has given—we must “raise a barrier” against anything that makes us feel discontent.
And we have to remember He blesses one with a large home while someone else with a more modest residence. He gives one person a position of leadership while another works behind the scenes. He gives to each according to His will.
We have to “raise barriers” against unrealistic “have more, be more” messages that tell us we aren’t important unless we are rich, we aren’t successful unless we have a high-profile job, or we aren’t significant unless we are beautiful. Expectations can blind us to more important blessings we are already holding in our hands, such as love, friendships, faith—and especially eternal life.
The woman who has learned to be content with what she has and knows God is the Giver of all good things is a blessed woman indeed.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 says it’s better to have “one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and a chasing after the wind.”
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Taken from Two Minutes In The Bible™ For Women. Copyright © 2017 by Boyd Bailey and Shana Schutte. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Used by Permission.
Shana Schutte is the author of Betrayed by God? and over 500 articles and blog posts. She has hosted her own nationwide radio program on CSN International, is a former writer and editor for Focus on the Family, and is a regular contributor to Wisdom Hunters. Shana’s mission is to help people with everyday life through biblical truths. You can learn more about her by visiting shanaschutte.com and on Twitter at @shanaschutte.