Contentment seems to have gotten a bad reputation.
These days, some think of contentment as being passive. Others would say that if you’re content, you’re saying you are okay settling for complacency.
Instead, we’re supposed to be dissatisfied with the status quo. Fighting for more, working to get ahead, and keeping up with the Joneses. Relentlessly striving in the pursuit of happiness.
Is that how we are supposed to live? What’s wrong with being content with contentment?
Being Content with Contentment
I spent a lot of my life missing out on contentment.
Thinking the next thing would make me happy, and often too busy to enjoy the moment. A prisoner to expectations, victim of comparisons, slave to my emotions, and controlled by my circumstances. Worried that because things weren’t perfect, they weren’t good enough. What a waste!
I found contentment growing on me after going through some tough times. When things got better, I realized I was content just not having all that negative stuff going on anymore.
That feeling grew on me; I discovered I liked being content. I still do. Such contentment brings feelings such as satisfaction, ease of mind, fulfillment, serenity, and peace. I like those feelings.
I am now content being content.
And remain on an ongoing journey of becoming satisfied with who I am, what I have, and where I’m going. Not regretting the past, worrying about the present, or agonizing over the future. Less consumed by I want more or I want better. Not focusing on what I don’t have, but what I do.
Getting Right to Contentment
But, how can any of us get to such a state of contentment? Each day, trying to follow the five STEPS of Surrender, Transformation, Empathy, Progress, and Service helps me—and can help you—become more content more often. A short-hand version of these STEPS reminds us to:
- Get right with God.
- Get right with ourselves.
- Get right with other people.
- Get right with our daily habits.
- Get right with our purpose in life.
All of which produce some wonderful benefits, such as:
- The comfort of faith that God is in control, and the serenity found in surrendering to his will.
- Going to sleep in peace because we are dealing with our wrongs, and then letting them go.
- Not carrying grudges, forgiving those who wronged us. Coexisting peacefully with others.
- Finding peace in daily prayer and meditation. Appreciating the reassurance of the Bible.
- Achieving purpose serving others, and being satisfied with a life of rewarding significance.
When I dwell on those benefits, I am okay being content with contentment. I may miss out on some things I could have if I went back to my heads-down, never-satisfied assault on life.
But I‘m content with that.
Question: How often do you find yourself feeling truly content?
Action: Take the first step to contentment by getting right with God.