Are you in pursuit of more? Can you find satisfaction in God alone? How do you achieve godly contentment?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” - Philippians 4:11
Contentment is an interesting concept in the world of entrepreneurs since all entrepreneurs are looking for more business, more customers and more money. How do I remain content in a world that rewards the pursuit of more and views being content with less as defeat and failure? We also find ourselves in a marketplace environment that not only rewards the pursuit of more but does not care about the methods of that pursuit. The reality is that in order for me to understand godly contentment, I must first change my paradigm of business. It is impossible for me to be content and maintain the world’s approach toward business because the worldly approach uses discontentment as a tool for motivating people to be innovative and productive.
A new Biblical Entrepreneur certified teacher once told me a story about a company he worked for where his supervisor took him to a dealership to finance a brand new car. The supervisor’s purpose in doing this was to motivate his employee to increase his sales. TV ads are full of images that are designed to make us discontent with our current circumstances and want more. Contentment is not something we are born with, nor does it come automatically with salvation. It is a learned behavior. I read a story about a Quaker who put a sign on his house that read “I will give this house to any man who can prove to me that he is content.” Shortly after, someone came knocking at the door and said he saw the sign out front and wanted to claim the house. He said he was perfectly content. The Quaker asked what he meant. He said, “I have everything I want, all the money I need, everything in life that could satisfy me. I am perfectly content.” The Quaker said, “Friend, if thee is so content, what does thee want with my house?” Many of us are like this man; we claim to be content, but we do so while seeking more.
What does it really mean to be content? Contentment is the Spirit-led ability to accept God’s will for my life no matter what my circumstances. It is a learned behavior that allows me to achieve great gain in Christ. I love Ray C. Stedman’s definition of contentment: “only wanting what you have.” The beauty of this definition is that it forces us to reverse our perspective and focus on what we have rather than what we want. If you are not content with what you have, you will not appreciate it. If you do not appreciate what you have, you will not take care of it. And if you do not take care of it, then you may eventually lose it. On the other hand, if you want what you have, you will appreciate it, and as a result, will also take care of it and may eventually have more. The key then to getting more is wanting what you have.
So, how do you achieve godly contentment? How do you get to the point where you only want what you have and no longer focus on trying to keep up with the Joneses or the Gates, especially as an entrepreneur?
To achieve godly contentment, you must keep the following seven points in mind:
- Recognize that you have brought nothing into this world, and you will carry nothing out. (1 Timothy 6:7, Job 1:21)
- Recognize that both riches and poverty are from God. (1 Samuel 2:7, Proverbs 22:2)
- Learn the lessons God is teaching you when you are lacking. (James 1:2-4)
- Master the art of stewardship. (1 Corinthians 4:2, Luke 16:1-13)
- Learn to appreciate every blessing, no matter how great or small. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Put your trust in Christ and not in your resources. (Matthew 6:33, 1 Timothy 6:17 -19, Colossians 3:1-11)
- Guard against the love of money. (1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15-21)
- Realize that implementing these things cannot be done by might, but must be done by the Spirit. You can not will yourself to be content; Christ must empower you and give you the grace to achieve contentment. The dangers of ignoring this virtue are great. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 explains it best, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Therefore. pursue contentment and godliness, and you are sure to avoid great failure and attain great gain in Christ.
My prayer for you today is that God will give you the grace to be satisfied with Him alone and that you will appreciate His many blessings.
Reflection: Are you operating from a place of contentment?
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