1 Timothy 6:8
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
Contentment is truly one of the greatest keys to enjoying life. Being content is not a choice that God gives the believer, but it is a command that He expects the believer to be. Contentment is being full with no desire for more. Have you ever gone to a place to eat and left hungry? Leaving hungry simply means that you didn’t satisfy your hunger. However, there are places that you went to eat and left satisfied or content because your belly was full. When God commands the believer to be content, He is commanding the believer to live life with their belly full of what He has provided. In other words, to be discontented is to say that God hasn’t provided your needs; to be contented is to be satisfied with what He has given you in life. Let me share several mindsets and actions that it takes to be content.
First, the key to being content is expectations. The verse above are the expectations that God gives for the believer. In other words, any expectation above food and raiment is what causes discontentment. The only reason anyone is discontented with what they have is because they have raised their expectations too high for what they want.
Second, everything above your expectations is a bonus. When your expectations are Scriptural expectations of food and raiment, everything you get above those expectations are a bonus in life. You could find yourself being joyful and satisfied with what life has provided for you if you learned to keep your expectations to God’s standards. Having the mindset that anything above food and raiment is a bonus is what keeps you content with what you have. It will keep you from not focusing on what you don’t have and being joyful about what God has given you.
Third, don’t let the bonus become an expectation. God gives you bonuses every day, but you must be careful not to let the bonus become the expectation. For instance, many employees become discontented with their employer because they didn’t get a Christmas bonus. The reason they became discontented is because their employer gave them a Christmas bonus the previous year, and the employee raised their expectation when their expectation should have stayed with being satisfied with getting a paycheck. Be careful that you don’t raise your expectations to the level of the bonuses that God gives you; in doing so, you will stay content.
Fourth, don’t require others to hold to your standard of expectations. You will stay contented with others when you don’t expect them to live to your expectations. The reason you are not happy with others is because you expect them to live to your expectations. If you stay in your area of keeping your expectations for what you do, you won’t have time to worry about others not living up to your expectation; thus, you will be content with how others treat you.
Fifth, the less you have, the easier it is to be content. God is not saying that having possessions and riches are wrong, but He is teaching that it’s easier to stay content when you don’t expect to live to a higher standard. The more complicated your life becomes with possessions and riches, the easier it will become to be discontented. My friend, when you stay busy serving God, you will find it easier to be contented because your desire will be to help others and not on what God has not given you.