This first list is from a wonderful and very accessible book by Linda Dillow called Calm My Anxious Heart. This simple little list has helped me over and over to overcome discontentment. Whenever you find yourself discontent you will most likely be able to trace it's origin back to one of the following thought patterns. Think of it as a diagnostic tool.
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
- Never compare your lot with another's
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
- Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours.
"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." 1 Tim. 6:6-10
"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." Philippians 4:11-13
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17
"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26
"One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4
And so I will end my series on contentment with a word of encouragement from John Piper:
"If your godliness has freed you from the desire to be rich and has helped you be content with what you have, then your godliness is tremendously profitable...Godliness that overcomes the craving for material wealth produces great spiritual wealth."