The Secret to Contentment

By:  Staci Stallings

Our world is designed to make us discontent.  Think about it.  Have you ever gotten the newest, latest, coolest gadget only to find out ten days later that the 2.0 version will be out in a month?  Have you ever felt that sense of rejection… again… because you’re not in the coolest, hippest, most wonderful category of people who own the latest thing?

Join the club.

In our society no one can afford the newest, coolest thing every time.  It’s impossible.  If you have the newest computer system, you can bet the development team is working hard to make the next big thing you just have to have.  If you got the newest phone, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts your phone will “need an upgrade” by the end of the year.

So what drives this insatiable need to have, have, have?  Why do we feel such pressure to keep up with the Jones when the truth is we don’t even like them very much?

I think it all goes back to Adam and Eve.  That fruit was forbidden, so they wanted it.

Now, think about this for just a moment.

They were in the Garden of Eden.  They didn’t have to toil for anything.  They literally walked with God in the coolness of the evening.

In short, they had everything they could ever have wanted or needed.

So why was it so easy for Satan to tempt them with wanting this apple?

I believe the secret to contentment lies in this simple story.  At the moment of temptation, they were not thinking about all they had.  Eve did not say, “Look, Satan.  Look around you.  We’re in the Garden of Eden.  How could that apple possibly compare to all of this?”  No.  In that apple, she saw what she didn’t have, not what she did.

And we’re the same way.  We are not grateful for what we have.  We want what we don’t have… constantly!

An ad on the television shows us something we never even knew existed and all of a sudden this “I’ve got to have that” springs up inside of us, driving us, pulling us forward as if on an unseen current.

Here’s a tip.  If you want to be content and not always chasing after the next big thing, spend some time today being thankful for what you do have.  If you’re married, spend time being thankful for your spouse.  If you’re not, spend some time being thankful for this time to get your feet on the ground so that when marriage comes around, you can bring a solid, stable life to the table.

Look at the things in your house–large or small, newest or oldest–and be grateful for them.  Be grateful for your kids. Be grateful for your church. Be grateful…

And contentment is sure to follow.

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One Response to The Secret to Contentment

  1. I love this, Staci! Matter of fact, would you grant permission for me to reprint it sometime next week on my blog? With full attribution, of course. And a link back, too.

    peg @ peggyblannphifer dot com

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