"When we cannot find contentment in ourselves
it is useless to seek it elsewhere."
–Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld, French author (1613-1680)
Do you agree with the Frenchman’s quotation above? Just what do you think these words meant when they were written or spoken so long ago? What do they mean to you today?
What is contentment, anyway? Here’s how Webster’s Online Dictionary defines contentment: Contentment: the state of being happy and satisfied : the state of being content
Well, then, what does content mean?
Again, here is the Webster’s Online Dictionary definition:
Content: pleased and satisfied : not needing more
In the above two definitions we get the words happy, satisfied, and pleased. What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of contentment? The first word that comes to my mind is peace or peaceful. Okay, that’s two words, but they’re pretty much the same.
Have you known people who display peace in their everyday walk? What age were these people? Or does age have anything to do with the quality of peace? Or the quality of contentment?
|This is where I find contentment, along with the peace of God|
I like the Webster's definition of content: not needing more.
In the Bible, Paul says he has learned to be content (Philippians 4:11, NIV). Does that mean he had to work at becoming content? Did he make being content a goal he set out to reach? Paul probably meant that he was satisfied with what he had and he chose to be content with that. Paul ended with this: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NIV).
I don’t believe being content equals settling for less than we can attain. Being content just means you come to a place where (in Webster’s words) you’re not needing more. Coupling contentment with peace, we can treasure Jesus’ words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you (John 14:27, NIV).
Then with all this word study, I guess we can conclude contentment means being happy, satisfied, pleased, and not needing more. And to me being content means to be at peace.
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