June 19, 2018Living with Contentment
God desires for us to live with contentment. Content that His plans and purposes are for good. When our lives reflect that, it indicates we trust what God is doing in our lives. From day to day it can be hard to remind ourselves to live with that truth. In this blog, Emily discusses practical, everyday actions we can take to a full and content life!
In my interactions with people after asking how they are doing, I get the response, “surviving”. Generally, this response is saying, I am barely getting by, or doing what I must do to get through each day.
I understand what people are saying, some days between a messy house, laundry, three kids to take care of, I barely feel like I am accomplishing much while doing so busy at the same time. Surviving feels like a perfect word to describe it, but what if we chose during our chaos, during the pressures of life, instead of surviving each day, we lived with the contentment and joy. We were never meant to live to just survive. God calls us to a life of freedom and adventure. Much of that has to do with our perspective and attitude that every season is God ordained. From that perspective, we have a greater sense of joy in where we are and what we are called too for that time.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (ESV)
Contentment does not mean perfection, it does not mean everything on our to-do list must get done, or life is perfect but what does change is our outlook and perspective. Contentment is a state of happiness or satisfaction. In 1 Timothy it indicates that godliness with contentment is great gain. They go hand in hand, as we live a holy and righteous life, we live with contentment. Whatever season of our life we are in, whatever happens in our day, we don’t exist just to survive but to be truly content where we are and in what we accomplish. God desired for us to live that way.
So how do we live with contentment?
Here are 8 practical steps to living content and increasing your joy.
- Abide in Christ- Contentment comes when we find rest in God. If we find ourselves losing joy, we probably have disconnected from our source of joy. Contentment is more about a frame of mind than our situation in life. Renewing our mind daily in God and His word will give us a greater ability to live content.
- A time for all things– Every season brings ups and downs, good times and difficult times. Wherever you are now, you are there for a reason. Find purpose in where you are right now and don’t miss out by always looking to what could be, focus on what is.
- Saying no is okay– Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on something that you can’t carry right now. We need to learn to say no to things. Everyone has different seasons or abilities to handle things in different ways. Know what your limit is. If you are a mom of young kids what you can take on looks a lot different than when you were single. Sometimes it’s for the best when we say no.
- Get out of the comparison trap– One of the greatest hindrances to contentment is comparison. When we look at what others are doing or have and compare it to what we are not doing or do not have it’s impossible to live contently. Contentment comes when you have a peace about who you are and where God has called you. Don’t compare yourself to something that God never intended for you in the first place.
- Find joy in the juggle- Take time in the busyness to do things that bring laughter and joy into your life, don’t miss important moments and time with important people. Whether that be coffee with a good friend or playing outside with your children even amid a busy day, it reminds us of how great God is in our life.
- Have goals and dreams- Creating goals, and having dreams are important. I have goals that are daily task driven goals and more dream big goals that I hope to accomplish soon. Goals are good but don’t be so caught up on goals or tasks left undone, that it leaves you undone. Map out goals for your day, year and five years, and every day or every week do a little that works toward the larger goals.
- Attitude makes or breaks us– Sometimes all we need to do to live more content is change our attitude. Our perspective changes when we shift our attitude from complaining to praise. God often wants to develop our character and our heart, allow Him to do His work and we will take our eyes off the circumstance and back to our call.
- Gratitude is everything– God’s love and faithfulness never fail, His mercies are new every morning because of that each day we can be thankful. Start your day off with gratefulness and praise to God for all He has done and is going to do in your life.
God is always working in our lives. His plans for you are for a hope and a future. Don’t let momentary disappointments or difficult circumstances steal your joy. You were made to live a content and joyful life. Created by God in His image to live out His purpose. That should be joy and purpose to your life!