We live in a world where more is greater and bigger is better. More clothes, bigger bank account, more cars, more “friends”, bigger house, and more degrees. Yet, why do we find ourselves not content and empty once we have accomplished all these goals?
There is a sound reason for this and it is our lack or absence of a relationship with Jesus. 1 Timothy 6: 6-10 reads, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
We live so much for this world only and that is why all these things amount to nothing.The only valuable and unchanging thing we can bring into our lives is a true lasting relationship with Jesus Christ, who is not of this world. Once we recognize and need this relationship, being content with what we have and where we are going in our lives is much more accepting and enjoyable simply because it is how God intended us to live.
Here are 7 ways to be content with your life and you might be surprised that less is actually more!
7 Ways To Be Content
1. Find What is Missing
If you do not have a relationship with Jesus currently, then I am here to tell you that this relationship is your missing piece of the puzzle of life! We need this relationship to truly feel fulfilled and content.
As you develop your relationship with Him, life will start to make a lot more sense and you will see your life and others through a completely different lens. You will feel God closer to you and that is because of this relationship with Jesus.
Jesus said,” I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
So you might ask, how do I develop a relationship with Him? You will want to start by truly learning who Jesus is. Start by reading your Bible or using a Bible app. I would recommend starting with the Book of John. And for all you nerds like me who feel they need to start at the beginning of every book and work your way through, I am here to let you know that the Bible doesn’t necessarily need to be read that way. The writings about Jesus’s life begins in the New Testament but the Book of John specifically does a great job of explaining Jesus’s life for those who don’t know really anything about Him. That is why I am recommending you to start there. There are prophecy and discussions of Jesus as our Messiah in the Old Testament. But Jesus’s life on earth is written in great detail later on, once He came to dwell with us.
2. Live In The Word
Once you get a taste of the Word of God you will continually want to read it! It not only contains wisdom but love. Words that apply to our lives no matter what year these books are read, whether it was 500 years ago or today.
That is because God never changes, He remains the same over time. If you are able to get into the Word of God through reading your Bible, many verses will stick with you. God’s guidance will hang on your tongue when you need it the most or need to share it with others.
The Word of God is so powerful it can and will change your life for the better! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is there to make us righteous servants of God and for the good of ourselves.
You might be wondering when we are going to get to the list of things that help us to be content. But see, these suggestions that are to follow are only effective if you have developed a relationship with Jesus and continue to read His Word. Otherwise, we will fall right back to where we started because Jesus is our foundation. When all else fails He will not!
3. Remove The Poison
Once you have come to realize the expectations and guidelines God has for us are there to make our lives happier, you will find yourself wanting to live a life as a follower of Jesus. This may mean losing certain people in your life or deciding to break bad habits.
In Luke 11:28, Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” If we know that God has considered the actions we are currently doing are wrong and we remove our selves from those situations so we are able to avoid sin, then we are obeying the Word of God.
And many times it is as easy as us removing ourselves from certain situations. Like the “pushy” friend who always ends up influencing you to do something you otherwise wouldn’t do or the bad spirited co-worker that seems to complain about everything instead of helping build others up. We should pay attention to these situations because they can indirectly affect us.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
One of my favorite Pastors to watch online is Steven Furtick. If you ever want to watch a great sermon I would recommend one of his! But one of my favorite quotes about comparing ourselves to others came from one of his sermons and he said,“The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Wow. When I heard him say this, it immediately gave me in one sentence how to communicate with others what we are actually doing. We don’t see the struggle and tears behind the job promotion a friend may have received or how many courses someone may have failed before they received their degree.
God has made you for a reason. Comparing ourselves to one another will just distract us from what He has planned for us. Besides, we should be encouraging and excited when someone accomplishes something great! Not sulking and comparing our associate’s degree to someone’s Doctorate. We should lift up those around us and focus on what we need to do. God has a great plan for you, don’t let other people’s milestones distract you from that!
5. Let Go Of Materialistic Things
This is something that has been so culturally impacted especially here in the US that it is astonishing to me the number of things we “think” we need, but at the same time advertisements are literally everywhere we look! On our apps, phones, computers, televisions, billboards, buildings even before we watch a video or listen to music, some form of ad is being introduced to us whether we want to watch it or not.
Since coming to Christ, I can honestly say I don’t have the urge to spend my money on endless clothes, makeup, indulging in eating out and just pretty much watching myself accumulate things I truly don’t need. That is because I no longer have a void within me, Jesus filled every space that was empty within me. He filled it with love, joy, Godly experiences, trust, and hope.
You all know what I am talking about when I say trying to”fill a void”. It’s that feeling we get when we have a bad day at work and have the urge stop on our way home at the mall the to buy “something”. Not even something we need, just we feel we “need” to buy something. That is the void within us that can only be filled with knowing Jesus.
So you can buy Macy’s right out of business and still have this gigantic hole within you. That is us seeking God, yearning His closeness and without it, we are not content, we are simply empty. That feeling can be misunderstood, hence why we run out to find something more and it never satisfies that feeling.
6. Help Others
Helping others is something God has intended us to do as well as desire.” Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ ” Galatians 6:2. For if God has said it, then that shall be the way we live!
When we are self-absorbed and don’t care about anyone else, we are definitely not close to God. He wants us to love one another and there is a feeling that comes from the act of helping that is so pleasing to us and more importantly, pleasing to God. The lack of helping others can also feed into that emptiness we feel. So we should strive to take that extra moment and help someone who is in need.
7.Embrace Each Season
Just as the leaves change from summer to Fall, we too find ourselves in different seasons of life. We are constantly changing, we may have an amazing year with huge milestones we have achieved and at later times we might find ourselves trying to hang on after experiencing tragedy and loss.
But if we have developed a relationship with Jesus Christ, we should know that “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” No matter how hard life can become, God is with us. So if Jesus is our foundation, we cannot be moved! For He doesn’t experience seasons or changes as we endure here on earth.
If you are able to find Jesus and bring Him into your life, I believe the remaining 6 ways to being content that we have discussed will begin to fall into place. You won’t need to depend on money to bring you happiness and contentment. That is because no money in this world can buy a relationship that is out of this world!