Living in contentment

Dear Ministry Partner,

Oprah Winfrey, the famous TV talk show host said it well, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

It is challenging to live in contentment in our materialistic world. The inclination to accumulate and compare our material status with that of others’ can be stressful. Left unchecked, it will result in our being materially-rich, but spiritually poor. We all know that material wealth and things do not offer lasting contentment. As Jesus warns us in Mark 8:36: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

“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.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NIV)

The Greek root of content, “arkeo” (ar-keh’-o), suggests sufficiency, that something is enough. Contentment is recognising the sufficiency of what we have. The writer of Hebrews gives us two considerations to living in contentment “with what we have.”

True contentment is found in the person of Christ. The basis for our contentment is having Christ at the center of our lives. This calls for a reorientation of our bearings and definition of what contentment to us is. We tend to upgrade or replace our possessions hoping to find more satisfaction in them, but such behaviour offers, at most, a brief period of fleeting pleasure. On the other hand, Christ is irreplaceable and ‘non-upgradable’. The riches of this world cannot be substitutes for Christ. Christ is ENOUGH!

The presence of His abiding companionship with us, drawn from Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” gives us security in times of doubt. In hard times, we may wonder if God cares about us. But our God is not a fair-weather God. He promises to stick by us, and never leave us. We can draw comfort and contentment from the inner peace and satisfaction of knowing that our God remains faithful even in the most trying times. In essence, Christ is ALL WE NEED!

Living in contentment allows for current enjoyment rather than constant striving. True contentment does not feed on circumstances or wishful thinking because it flows from our relationship with God.

Contentment enables us to develop a genuinely grateful spirit. When we focus on what we do not have, we lose sight of all the spiritual and material blessings that God has showered upon us.

Contentment also releases us from unhealthy competition and comparison. The more contented we are with our lives, the more we are able to celebrate another person’s success instead of falling prey to jealousy.

Finally, contentment enables us to release God’s resources to bless others. There is an inner joy that comes from giving rather than hoarding.

In your current season of life, I pray that you will experience true contentment that is rooted in Christ, because He is truly enough — all that one needs.

Blessings,

Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader