And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:8 KJV 

 Wow.  I honestly don’t even know what that’s talking about.  Never in my entire life have I been forced to go hungry, and I have always had plenty of clothing.  So should I really never wish for more than that?

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have  Heb 13:5  NASB

I have to admit, that’s hard sometimes.  We look around us and see so many things that would make life easier or more enjoyable, and we tend to wish for them.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6 KJV 

It occurs to me that Godliness comes first!  Godliness is the beginning.  When I allow the Spirit to use my head, hands, and feet to do God’s will, that IS Godliness!  And when I am doing that, then I can be perfectly content.

I started to use the word “satisfied” while writing the previous paragraph, and realized that I should look up some passages that contain that word.  When I did, I was struck by the difference.  In many places, it spoke of God (or someone else) satisfying a need or desire.  To “satisfy” in Scripture is generally something done to another.  Being content, however, is an action taken within ourselves.  To be satisfied is to have another meet your needs, to be content is to make the decision that what you have been given is enough.  Somehow that was a new thought for me to make a distinction between the two.  We often use the word satisfied as a synonym for content, but perhaps that is wrong.  I can choose to be content even when an urge of mine has not been satisfied.  For instance, Paul makes it clear that even when he is in want, he can still find contentment.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.       Philippians 4:11 NASB

By the same argument, one can have all one’s needs perfectly satisfied, but still lack contentment.  That is probably the case with many people in America today.  Even though they have everything they need and many things they don’t, they still have a nagging feeling of discontent within their souls.  God warns of this phenomenon many times.

Hell and destruction are never full ; so the eyes of man are never satisfied .
Proverbs 27:20 KJV

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10 KJV

But He gives the solution.

The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.     Proverbs 19:23 KJV

Abide satisfied.  I like that.  Abiding in Him is pure contentment.


About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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2 Responses to Contentment

  1. Caroline says:

    This is great. I love the distinctions between content and satisfied. Since we have been on the mission field, we keep learning lessons about contentment and satisfaction. I think that at the root of contentment is faith and trust. Trust that God does supply all your needs, and faith that if you do truly need it, He will supply, or satisfy.. And, now I can say He will satisfy with a better understanding.

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