I have recently been studying contentment. We, as Christians, are called to be content or at least told it’s a good thing. I don’t get this concept. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:8, “But Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Solomon states in Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs also mentions in 13:25, “The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.” Both times Solomon mentions contentment the root word is to be full. When Paul uses it, it means self satisfaction.
Here is my problem with this: If I’m content with what I have, what I’m doing, and where I am, then I have no desire to change. Discontent is what drives me to change. I believe that we should be discontent that we aren’t more like Christ. Without this discontent there is no drive. There are things I can be content with. I can be content that God is sovereign. I can be content that I am where God wants me to be at this moment. I can be content that God is in control. I am content that more stuff won’t make me happy. Perhaps satisfied and content aren’t the same. Can you be contentedly dissatisfied? I think it must be true, because that is where I am right now. I will continue to study this and spend time in prayer about it. I’ll blog again if I gain any insights. Any wisdom from my readers is much appreciated.
Addendum: I just did a search on my title and found a sermon with a similar title by a guy wh0 is theologically smarter than I, John Piper. Here is the link with his explanation. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around his hypothesis and assumptions.