3 Steps To Contentment

Do you ever have what my friend Lauren calls a MOMENT?

You know what I mean? Everything is just “fine” and then something hits you sideways and you have a MOMENT. Maybe you had a Facebook moment when you saw that you weren’t included in a party or conversation or outing. Maybe you had a home improvement moment as you watched all the options HGTV had to offer. Maybe you had a Pinterest moment when you tried your best to recreate the image on your computer screen and it was an unrecognizable failure.

Maybe it was your car, your house, your kids, your boss, your husband, your scale, or your mirror … and you just had a MOMENT! The MOMENT dissolved your contentment.

My most recent moment. 

My MOMENT came at the Tax Guy’s office. As he looked over all my documents, his mouth tightened into a disapproving grimace. “Robyn, I know this God thing is important to you, but I have to tell you that at your age, you should be thinking about your future. You need to get a real job.”

Ugh.

I explained how faithful God continues to be and even though the numbers may not show it, I am experiencing his peace and pleasure as I partner with him to proclaim Jesus’ name and teach the Bible from coast to coast.

Don’t let this happen to you!

As I left his office, my Contentment asked my Confidence for a date and they took off for parts unknown. The evil twins, Discouragement and Dissatisfaction, moved in to take their place.

I saw my world through their viewfinder. My car makes funny sounds. My house needs updating. My bank account isn’t multiplying, but my weight and wrinkles sure are!

Christians aren’t so different than anyone else. We have desires and dreams but we get derailed when contentment is lost.

To wrangle contentment back in place,

1. Be thankful.

Make a list of 100 things that you have to be thankful for. 100 things! I’m issuing the challenge to go beyond 100. When you consider all you have, the things you don’t have will diminish in necessity.

2. Stop comparing and start cheering!

Many of us lose our contentment – Not because WE aren’t doing well, but because others are doing better! When I have a MOMENT due to comparisons, I deliberately choose to cheer for the object of my comparison. Being outwardly focused alleviates the angst.

3. Rewrite the story.

Look at what is going right or moderately well or mostly okay and dwell on that. Remember, what you focus on grows!

I wasn’t on the Today show or speak at arenas or make a million dollars, so Tax Guy called me a failure. But, I had a great year! I got to speak at dozens of events encouraging thousands to trust Jesus – a topic I am quite familiar with!

A final thought on contentment.

Being content doesn’t mean settling for less than God has for you. It doesn’t mean tolerating sin or abuse toward you. If change for the better is within your grasp, go for it! Contend for more! But if you’re stuck (for the moment or the season) where you are, then be content till change is at hand.

What steals your contentment and what’s your best advice to getting it back? 

Scripture Refresher: And Paul says, “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 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.”  Philippines 4:10-13

Prayer: God, Teach me the difference between contentment and complacency. Show me when to settle in and when to contend at all cost.  Guide me as only you can to peace. Amen.