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contentment and ramblings

April 12, 2008

con·tent·ment /kənˈtɛntmənt/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-tent-mu

hnt] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
2. Archaic. the act of making contentedly satisfied.
[Origin: 1400–50; late ME contentement < MF. See co

Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary – Cite This Source – Share This

Contentment

a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be (1 Tim. 6:6; 2 Cor. 9:8). It is opposed to envy (James 3:16), avarice (Heb. 13:5), ambition (Prov. 13:10), anxiety (Matt. 6:25, 34), and repining (1 Cor. 10:10). It arises from the inward disposition, and is the offspring of humility, and of an intelligent consideration of the rectitude and benignity of divine providence (Ps. 96:1, 2; 145), the greatness of the divine promises (2 Pet. 1:4), and our own unworthiness (Gen. 32:10); as well as from the view the gospel opens up to us of rest and peace hereafter (Rom. 5:2).

Main Entry: contentment
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: happiness
Synonyms: comfort, complacency, content, contentedness, ease, equanimity, fulfillment, gladness, gratification, peace, pleasure, repletion, satisfaction, serenity
Antonyms: discomfort, discontentment, displeasure, dissatisfaction, misery, sadness, unhappiness

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Okay, so i really don’t like definitions that use the original word or the root word in the definition; however, there are some parts of these definitions that are helpful.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about contentment lately. It seems that contentment is a good place to start, being that I’m a single woman in a house with three engaged people and having two previous roommates already married. It’s okay, don’t pity me. Singleness really can be and is a blessing! And, I’m super excited for these engaged women!

I realized that in this next year, going to South Korea, I’ll be missing six weddings, four of which are really, really close friends! That has been enough to keep me here, actually. They’re like sisters, truly. But, in the end, I am feeling as though this is an open door to walk through. I’ve got a lot of peace about it. This is not the point though…rabbit trail.

Back to contentment… this is something that I’ve been trying to “master” over the last few years. Yah, “master.” Whatever that means. I think that being content is something that we, as humans, will have to remind ourselves of all throughout life. If you’re single, you’ll long for a relationship. If you’re in a relationship you’ll long for marriage. If you’re married you’ll long for children or to be single again. If you have kids you’ll long for your independence again. If you’re out of work you desire a job. If you have a job you wish you were retired. If you’re old you want to be young. If you’re young you want to be older. It’s a lifelong struggle of being content with what God’s given you and the season of life that you’re in.

There is the paradox that you are to be content and yet long for more and contend for more of God. But that doesn’t include complaining all the time. The Isrealites did that and we see where it got them… God let all their grumblings come to pass and not a single one of them saw the promise land. So there. Negative thoughts and words get you no where. So just dismiss the idea that complaining will help.

Contentment…God knows where He has you and He is constantly forming you and shaping you. The experiences that He is giving you are equipping you and preparing you…they’re changing you and showing you more and more about who He is and how much He loves you.

I think that a lot of times our situations get very tainted by our attitudes and poor perspectives. We tend to assume the worst, play the victim, and envy others. Well, the grass is not always greener on the other side…we all have junk and that’s life. God is working on each one of us. In the end, you’ll always end up running into yourself again no matter how many different things you run to. God’s showing you who you are and growing you into who you are in Christ.

We tend to make ashes as we are sinful beings. He makes beauty from ashes. Sometimes the goodness of God gets tainted because we blame God for the consequences of our choices or others choices. Unfortunately, sometimes we get slammed with the effects of others’ mistakes. And sometimes, well, as Graham says, “In His wisdom He allows what He could prevent with His power.” This kind of has to do with contentment…I guess it does because if you can’t see God’s goodness then you’ll have no hopes of being content.

God has the best in mind for you. Some times we have a hard time believing that. He often time protects us from things that we thought we wanted but in the end, it would have not been so great for us. Other times He just makes us wait a really long time. He is a good Father. Mostly, we need to change the way that we see Him and that will change the way we see our lives. Our experiences with God will change our lives and how we live day to day.

Delight first in the Lord and then He’ll give you the desires of your heart. Seek the Kingdom first. As you do that He aligns your heart with His and your desires become the same as His. It’s the most amazing and beautiful transformation!

Well, this is a more scattered writing than usual. But, contentment is something that I feel is a big issue in our culture…heck, the human race. We are complainers and have been since day one. It’s time we renew our minds and realize that God has given us everything we need for life. Those in Christ have the holy spirit and life is more fulfilling than ever when you acknowledge Him daily and walk with Him!

It’s not a quick fix, but it is a relationship and an intimate one at that!

When I say to be content, I’m not saying to shut off your desires and settle. God’s made us people of desire! But, I am saying to quit complaining. There is a difference between complaining and contending. It is a heart issue.

Whatever, I think that’s all I have to say for now. Maybe it’s helpful for someone. I just know that I am embracing the season of life that God has me in and I am excited about life! God has to be my filling! He has to be my hunger and my all… otherwise, I’m pursuing dead ends. Knowing Him and making Him known… that is what I live for. In the case of singleness, if God so desires to give me a companion, that’d be great (i mean, amazing) too. It was His idea after all to create Eve for Adam. Haha…but waiting is good too! He’s teaching me contentment! So single ladies, (and men), be excited about this season of life and let God use you! There is always a full life to be had when in Christ!

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