Being content is quite a challenge nowadays. Every day, we are tempted to think that having more or achieving more will give us real satisfaction and eventually happiness. We become easily displeased with what we have, where we are in our life or even with people around us. We lose joy and peace because we think we need other things to fill us. But learning to be content helps us live in the present and enjoy life to the full.
So, how can you be content?
1. Realize that only God can satisfy your deepest needs of love, significance, acceptance, and security. He is the Source. No other human being can love you the way God loves you; no amount of money can make you feel secure the way God does, no amount of recognition and praise can make you feel significant the way God does, and no amount of rest can give you peace the way God does. He is the God of love and hope. Romans 15: 13 (NLT) says, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Spend time with God to continually fill your heart.
2. Accept and make peace with yourself. Stop beating you up for all your weaknesses and mistakes. It is ok not to be perfect. Focus on what you like about you, your qualities, and feel free to be who you are. Be aware of what you want in life and decide for yourself—no need to envy other persons and compare. Proverbs 14:30 says that envy rots the bones. So, bless others and keep your heart and mind on your own path of life.
3. Find your real purpose. It makes you feel alive, motivated and helps you keep moving forward through the storms of life. It also gives you a conviction on what you have to do. Purpose is not about success but about having a vision, giving meaning to your life and accomplishing what you are created for. Without vision, you just run here and there with a doubtful heart. So, ask yourself, “what is my passion?” “What has God put on my heart to do?” Take time to discover it. It is worth it. You’ve been created to make an impact.
4. Have the right balance. With work and family life, you can quickly feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated. So, it is essential to define your priorities and your goals. Reflect on what is important for you and find ways where you can improve at managing your time and giving up things that don’t matter. Find also some time to reconnect with yourself, with your emotions. Learn to be in the moment and appreciate the simple things in life.
5. Let go of your expectations. You can’t control the events and people of your life. This is a fact. So, try to be more flexible about how things should be or how people should act. Be grateful for what you already have and what you have achieved so far. Thank God for everything He has provided in your life. Release the disappointment about outcomes that didn’t fit your plans. Try not to think too much about how the future should look like or what this or that person should do for you. God has good plans for your life. Jeremiah 29:11, NLT says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So, put your trust in Him. His plans may be different from what you expect, but you will love it. He knows you better than you do.
Living a life of contentment doesn’t mean that you don’t improve yourself or that you stop making progress. It just releases the stress of believing that you have to have it all or be like others to be happy and fulfilled.