How To Be Content With What You Have

The Bible says so much about contentment. This article will teach you how to be content with what you have, according to the holy scriptures.
Whenever contentment is made mention of, it is common for people to assume that they are already living a contented life, so they don't need to hear more about it.

How To Be Content With What You Have

But is it true that everyone of us is contented? Well, I'm not here to judge, I'll let you do that for yourself as you read through the article. Follow up as we learn how to be content with what you have. 

Contentment simply means being at peace with oneself; being happy and having a sense of fulfillment concerning one's present level of attainments. It's an act of living with a grateful and appreciative heart towards God, for what He has done for you. 

Philippians 4:11-13 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Contrary to what many presume, contentment is not a new age practice. It is a lifestyle that the holy Bible recommends every genuine Christian lives out. 

1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

There are so many scriptures that teach about the need to be content in life. Our Lord Jesus Christ lived a contented life while He walked the earth. According to Philippians 4, even the Apostle Paul lived a contented life. 

The components of contentment include;

  • Satisfaction
  • Inner joy
  • Inner peace
  • Happiness 
  • Sufficiency 
  • Hopefulness 
  • Delight
  • Elatedness 
  • Fulfillment
  • Gratefulness

Contentment is an art; it is something that can be built or developed overtime through practice. That means, if you aren't yet living a contented life, you can start somewhere to develop and grow in it. You can learn to be content with what you have!

Contentment does not mean settling for complacency or mediocrity. It doesn't imply a lack of ambition or a passive attitude towards life. It doesn't mean settling for less. It is possible to be content while pursuing goals, and engaging in meaningful activities. 

Even though a contented person may likely still be working towards achieving more, they wouldn't be doing so in desperation. They would rather approach their goals and aspirations from a place of inner peace and fulfillment. 

When someone lives a contented life, they are not constantly seeking external validation or material possessions to find happiness. They already possess joy and fulfillment in the present moment; they've learned to appreciate what God has done for them, rather than focus on what they don't have. 

Signs Of Discontentment

A person who lacks contentment is an anxious and dangerous person. They pose a threat to themselves and to the society at large. 

  1. One of the major factors that pushes people into armed robbery and fraud is discontentment! 
  2. In most cases, it is not poverty but discontentment is the driving force behind those who venture into prostitution!
  3. If you easily get irritated and envious of another person's success, you are living a discontent life.
  4. If you always find yourself depressed and unimpressed with yourself, even after you have achieved and attained a lot, you are living a discontent life.
  5. A discontent person fights an inner battle they created for their own self. They live a life of constant anxious and unending striving for more. 
  6. If you ever find yourself desperately working to have what someone else has, you are a discontent person. 
  7. Many material possessions can never be enough for a discontent person. 

Discontentment (according to the Bible) is like the sin of avarice. It makes one spiritually and physically a toxic person. That's clearly not a good thing to have.

Psalm 52:7 DB
Behold the man that made not God his strength, but put confidence in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his avarice.

My prayer for everyone reading this article today is that they may be able to personalize and apply the message herein, so they could start living a content life according to God's will. 

How To Deal With Discontentment Biblically

Discontentment is as bad as it sounds. But the good news is that you can overcome discontentment. 

By applying the following steps, a Christian can go a long way to dismantle discontentment in their life. 

1. Confess The Sin Of Discontentment

Discontentment is like unbelief in the eyes of God. A discontent person never has the time to appreciate God for what He has done for them. They feel God hasn't done enough for them. A discontent person is difficult for God to please. 

Because the only thing that occupies their mind all the time is how to get more, a discontent person totally forgets they are supposed to be grateful to God for what He has already given them. 

Such level of ungratefulness comes off as extreme unbelief, distrust and lack of faith in God

So, go on and confess the sin of discontentment and ask for God's forgiveness. Then you can further ask Him to help you overcome it. 

2. Avoid Peer Pressure

It is good to have a clique that will occasionally push you to achieve more in life. Not the kind of clique that makes you feel less of yourself, because you're not matching 'their standards' in material accomplishments. 

If your peers have the habit of setting materialistic standards and pressuring everyone within the clique to meet up, that is obviously a circle of friends, colleagues or co-workers you don't want to be with. 

Proverbs 1:10  
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.

Resist the temptation to follow the crowd. When you're in a circle that makes you feel worthless because you are not doing or buying stuff they're buying, it's easy to venture into things you're not supposed to be doing, because you want to feel among. 

Most people started venturing into crimes and the wrong businesses, because their salary wasn't enough to support the kind of lifestyle their clique demanded. 

If there is anyone pressuring you to make wealth by every possible means, that is not someone you want to have around. 

The one who is under peer pressure will never be content with what they have. The striving is endless. Remember, there will always be a new  trendy stuff out there to covet.

3. Avoid Jealousy And Competition

The only person you should see as your competition should be your own self. Work towards becoming all that Heaven destined you to be in this life. Do something daily that will help you become a better version of you. 

Stop monitoring what other people are doing and achieving, it stirs up the spirit of competition. 

Some people's driving force is the spirit of competition. They want to have everything the other person they are envious of has. Such individuals threw contentment out of the window. That shouldn't be you. 

Ecclesiastes 4:4 NLT
Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

Some folks only realize that they need a new phone just after their neighbour bought one. And it has to be exactly their neighbour's brand and kind of phone. Such people don't live in contentment; it's not even in their vocabulary. 

Avoid jealousy by all means. Take your eyes off of what others have. Don't be envious of other people's achievements and acquisitions, you may never how they got there; whether or not they followed the right path to get there. 

Learn to have a sense of fulfillment and appreciate God for what you already have. Just as our fingerprints differ, so is our individual destinies.

By competing with others, you are abandoning the timeline of your destiny and attempting to walk in theirs. That will only end in frustration. 

4. Avoid Materialistic Comparisons

Everyone who is fond of comparing their life with that of others, will not know what true satisfaction and contentment is like. That leads to an endless striving after the wind. 

Luke 12:15 ESV
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. 

Some people have this unhealthy habit of instantly beginning to hate their own thing, the moment their neighbour acquires a kind they deem as better than theirs. 

Because John just bought the latest model of your car, you instantly begin to hate yours. All of a sudden you want to sell your car and go buy a new one. That behavior was triggered by materialistic comparison. 

You'll hear some people say things like, “My mates are getting married, why is my own different? I need to get married already!” Then they start striving towards getting married as fast as possible and by all means. Comparisons are good at driving people out of God's will. 

Avoid those who always talk down on you and attempt to compare you with the next person, telling you how better than you other people are faring. If you feed on such comparisons, the driving force it will birth in you will be a toxic one. 

5. Fight Greed And Desperation

Many do things they do today out of desperation. They always feel the world is ending tomorrow and they haven't made enough money or achieved enough yet. 

Desperate people cannot stop for a moment to appreciate what God has done for them, because they are too fixated on what they don't have. Desperation is borne out of greed and impatience. 

Proverbs 19:2
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs.

Desperate people feed on competition and jealousy; they use that as their driving force. Because they always think someone else has acquired more than they have, they live in this little world of unhappy, restless and endless striving after the wind. 

If one must be content with what they have, they need to fight greed and desperation. Desperately competing with everyone in the world is such an exhausting job to do. 

6. Live Within Your Means

An individual who desires to live a life of contentment should learn to live within their means. 

Be meticulous in your spending. If you spend more than you earn, you are going to force yourself into unnecessary striving, so as to be able to meet up. 

No one should desire to live a life of luxury, when they know fully well that their present level of income does not support it. 

Yes, God wants us to have nice things, but not to break our back to get them. 

The wisdom in 'cutting your coat according to your cloth' is that, it will help you live a contented life, instead of throwing you into a state of desperate and tiresome 'hustling' for more. 

A person who has refused to live within their means will have no other choice but to work harder than they should, and venture into the immoral so they can meet their needs.

7. Be Generous With What You Have

Being generous with what we have can go a long way to help checkmate and reduce greediness. When greed is cut down, more than half of man's problem of discontentment has been solved. 

Wherever there is discontentment, there will also be unhappiness. But a cheerful giver is a happy person. This is one of the secrets to living a content life. 

A person who can heartily give out what they have, isn't someone who is unhappy and dissatisfied that they don't have enough. There is this indescribable peace and joy that comes with giving from the heart. 

Start being generous with the 'little' that you have and experience true peace and joy that comes from contentment. 

8. Trust God With Your Future

A person who fails trust God with their future will sink faster into depression than they could imagine. 

Those who don't trust God with their future don't know what inner peace feels like. They have this crazy level of anxiety; they are always afraid they might fail in life. They believe they are not working hard enough. 

Matthew 6:34 NIV
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

When Jesus said, “sufficient for the day is its own trouble”, He was teaching contentment. No child of God should go too hard on their self, when they know they are already doing their best. You have to trust God to do His part concerning your future. 

If God so clothes the grasses of the field, will He not do more for you? After you have done your very best, trust God with the rest. This is what will bring inner peace and contentment. 

Refusing to trust God with the destiny and future He gave to you, is a self-inflicted punishment. If our hard work cannot earn us enough money to buy life, then we need to learn to trust God with our future. 

Most times, it isn't even not working hard enough that could make people fail in life, but working too hard and trusting in their own ability to make it, while pushing God aside. 

If you choose not to trust God with your tomorrow, you have chosen the latter—an unhappy and endless striving to garner material wealth, which doesn't bring fulfillment. 

9. Stay Grateful And Thankful To God

When it comes to contentment, nothing beats staying grateful and thankful to God. That alone gives inner peace and joy. 

Having and demonstrating an attitude of gratefulness shows God that you are not the desperate and greedy type who doesn't appreciate His efforts. It shows Him that you have faith, and you trust Him to do more for you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:1 NLT
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

God will often respond to the attitude of gratitude by doing more for the individual. It doesn't take extreme effort like discontentment and painful striving to receive from God. 

10. Find Fulfillment In Your Relationship With God

In extreme cases, the only solution to dealing with discontentment is to divert that effort you have been using to pursue mundane goals, into your relationship with God. 

Divert the same energy into chasing after God. Building a better relationship with God will bring more fulfillment, than striving for more material wealth. 

Discontentment is a hellish inner storm. But in the long run, God will calm the storm in the life of the individual who is ruggedly chasing after Him. He will teach them to approach life with more ease, while basking in Him. 

Spiritual Benefits Of Contentment

There are many spiritual benefits of contentment. Firstly, a person who has learned contentment is a spiritual person. A carnal person doesn't know what contentment is; they are in desperate competition with everyone and everything around them. 

1. Gives Focus And Concentration

Contentment brings focus and concentration. It gives keen clarity on things that matter most; things that the individual should work in on, like their purpose and relationship with God. 

2. Draws Us Closer To God

Living a content life validates to God the realness of our faith and trust in Him. That pleases God and draws us closer to Him and vice versa. 

3. Makes Us More Compassionate

A discontent person doesn't mind using other people to achieve their selfish and materialistic ambitions. But contentment births compassion in us towards other people—which can be evident in giving. 

Apart from these, there are innumerable spiritual benefits of contentment. It is best we experience them for ourselves. 

Be Content With What You Have Scriptures

Below is a list of some of the Bible verses that speak about contentment:

  1. Philippians 4:11-12 - Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
  2. Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'
  3. 1 Timothy 6:6 - But godliness with contentment is great gain.
  4. Matthew 6:31-33 - Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  5. Proverbs 19:23 - The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
  6. 1 Timothy 6:8 - But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
  7. Psalm 23:1 - The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  8. Ecclesiastes 5:10 - He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
  9. Proverbs 16:8 - Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
  10. 2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
  11. Psalm 37:16 - Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
  12. Proverbs 15:16 - Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
  13. 1 Timothy 6:17 - As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
  14. Luke 12:15 - And he said to them, Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
  15. Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
  16. Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  17. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
  18. Psalm 16:5-6 - The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Final Thoughts On Being Content With What You Have

Contentment is a spiritually and physically healthy lifestyle every Christian should live. 

Job said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave”. That is someone who attained contentment

Imagine some Christians today getting robbed of all they worked hard for years to have? Most of us would instantly fall ill and fall into depression, and contemplate suicide

But even after Job lost everything, he didn't lose contentment and his faith and trust in God. Those were evident in his words. 

None of us is going back with all the certificates and material wealth we worked hard to gain in the world. 

Apparently, discontentment is not a worthwhile pursuit. It has drained and ruined great people and destinies. It does more harm than good. 

Today, let's choose to be grateful to God for all that we already have. Instead of anxiety, let's choose to trust God for all that we need for our sustenance on earth. 

God bless you. 

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