Our selfish nature does not allow us to settle for anything less than “more.” And the more we have, the more we want…a vicious cycle. Sometimes it seems as though contentment can be as elusive as perfection. Yet, being content is a very common theme in scripture.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV)
This is some very powerful language suggesting that it is possible to be content, as long as we learn to fully rely on God. In fact, being content seems to be essential for following Christ. Anything but contentment appears to stem from the sinful temptations of greed and worry.
Speaking in terms of material possessions and personal comfort, I could not agree more. We should be content as long as we can provide food, water, and shelter for those that we are responsible for.
However, we need to be very careful that we do not cross the thin line from contentment to complacency. We often seek contentment in Christ, and find ourselves settling for less than our best. When we feel like our needs have been met, we tend to rest on our laurels and assume our work is done.
Unfortunately, we tend to seek God the most out of desperation and conviction. And contentment is essentially the antithesis of both of those things. When we feel comfortable, it is easy to stop seeking God and what He really wants for our lives.
Avoid the lukewarm danger zone we call complacency at all costs. Be content. Be satisfied with the ample blessings God has surely given you. But stay hungry. Stay passionate for His work and His will for your life.