The Secret to Contentment

“It’s not fair. Our life sucks.” I flopped down on the couch and scowled at my husband. I then proceeded to give a litany of reasons why I thought our lives were so awful.

“Remember back when we were both working and I had my amazing career?” I continued. “We could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. There were no limitations. But now I’m a stay-at-home mom and you’re on call 24/7 and we can’t do anything. Not anything.”

Of course that’s not true, but I was grumbling like an Israelite about everything I could think of at that moment. Remember how the Israelites always looked back with longing at where they came from, instead of looking forward with anticipation at where they were going? I was doing the same thing. It was so easy to do. After all, life isn’t all roses all the time. But complaining about it is wrong. It’s sinful.

My conversation with my husband took place yesterday. So don’t think for a second, as I write this, that I have it all together. But while the war might be ongoing, I did win yesterday’s battle. And I gained a valuable fighting tool.

How? I was reading a book and came across a life-changing scripture. It’s a scripture that I know by heart, but somehow, last night, it spoke to me in a new way.

Philippians 4:11-13 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I have learned to be content. I have often thought of that phrase and wondered, “But how? How did Paul learn to be content?” Clearly, it was a process. Some sort of learning curve took place. But how?

It never occurred to me to read a little further for the answer. Thankfully, I finally saw it last night. Verse 13 says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I don’t know what you’re going through, but I know that, for me, I need to take this verse and plaster it everywhere in my home. I need to meditate on it further, bind it to my heart. I need to keep it on the tip of my tongue, a constant reminder that the secret to contentment is Christ.

And I need to make sure that, everyday, I’m hiding myself in Him – that I’m letting Him renew my mind and change my thinking. I need to lean on Him. And as I do this, I will learn to be content.

So there you have it. The secret’s out.

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