How do we secure contentment? Is being content a goal? Is it a destination, or is it our journey? Don’t we all want to be content? Is contentment a reaction to good things happening in our lives, and if so, can we be discontent when bad things happen?
As a woman of faith I know that my Heavenly Father desires me to be “content in all circumstances.” Yes, even the bad. Ok, wait. Really? How can we possibly expect to be content during tragedy?
Well, we can. You see, being content doesn’t mean we are satisfied. Being content means we are uncomplainingly accepting on the inside when things on the outside demand otherwise.
Contentment is a foundation. It’s not an emotion. Satisfaction is an emotion. Happy is an emotion. Contentment is part of our makeup. It is who we are.
I am not satisfied with my season right now! But I am getting stronger at being content with my circumstances. This foundation gives me a footing to deal with and grow through challenging situations.
I think we each find contentment in our own way. Here’s what has helped me.
Manage my thoughts.
Managing my mind is a full time job. I respect the fact that I can’t be a lackadaisical leader. I have to be attentive and intentional with leading myself. I lead with hope and manage my mind to think positively.
Use my circumstances.
God grows us through our circumstances. I give myself grace to be dissatisfied with a particular season or situation, but I can’t let that alter my foundation. If God wants me to grow then it gives me hope for what he has planned.
Rest in hope.
Hope is a word that I used to just write. Hope is now part of my soul. I understand its power, and partnered with faith, hope is what inspires contentment.
Contentment protects and strengthens. It is an internal power in a world full of external struggles. If I can muster up a firm foundation of being content, I have the freedom and permission to be dissatisfied and to be aggressive with how I work toward the future.