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Silent Word Ministries received a note from Judy in Tennessee asking us to change her address for The Silent Word newspaper. She said, “I have moved to Contentment Lane.” I thought about how much our lives would improve if we all moved to Contentment Lane. I’m not talking about the place where Judy moved, but to the condition of our hearts and minds. Too many Christians live at one of these addresses, Envy Road, Jealousy Parkway, Self-pity Avenue, Covetousness Highway, “Me” Circle, or Comparison Corner and their lives are marked with discontentment and unhappiness. A decision to move to Contentment Lane would be a great decision.

Contentment – What’s that?

Contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction. It is freedom from worry or restlessness. It is freedom from comparison with others. It is freedom from the desire for more bigger and better things. It is freedom from wishing for a better status in life or better physical health or attractiveness.

Contentment is a Learning Process

Contentment is not natural, but must be learned. Even Paul had times of despair. “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).  
But years later he wrote that he had learned to be content. Contentment is learning like Paul to be content in whatever circumstance comes our way. He was content whether he abounded or he was abased. Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state (circumstance) I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (brought very low), and I know how to abound (be successful and have more than I need): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Philippians 4:11,12). Paul’s contentment came because of his trust and confidence in Christ. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me” (Phil 4:13).

How to be Content

Again, contentment is not natural. It is learned. We are like a newborn baby who comes into the world, crying, complaining, and consuming. We are not content until we get what we want. Too many continue life in that same state, never really content. Here are some suggestions that will help to maintain the spirit of contentment.
Stay close to your Heavenly Father – In the presence of God, we can experience true contentment – “Draw nigh (go near) to God, and he will draw nigh (come near to you” (James 4:8). Read his love letter (Bible) (Romans 15:4). Sing songs of praise (Psalm. 100:2b). Pray (Philippians 4:6). Wait on his leading (Isaiah 40:31).
Practice gratitude – “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:13). Write down the things you are grateful and thankful for.
Take control of your attitude – “Let your moderation (sweet attitude) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). Let go of envy, jealously, self-pity, covetousness, and comparing.
Break the buying habit – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). Too many are obsessed with getting bigger and better and more things. Often this leads to debt that cannot be paid thus bringing on stress and discontentment. Focus on the things you have rather than the things you don’t have.
Do not compare yourself to others – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works” (Psalm 139:14). We are who we are as God made us. No one is perfect. And while we may wish we were more attractive, had a better body, were more popular, were taller or shorter, it is foolish to compare ourselves to others and not be content. While we can improve ourselves in some areas, there are some things we cannot change. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto your stature (make yourself taller)” (Matthew 6:27)? So learn to be content with the way God made you and not compare yourself to others.
Help Others – Give of what you have. “Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him” (1 John 3:17). “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Look for ways to be of help and a blessing to others. This can involve the giving of your money, your time, your comfort, your things, etc., but it can lead to a more contented life.

Contentment Lane
Do you need to move to Contentment Lane? That move will cause your life to be more pleasing to God, to your family, to your friends, and to yourself.
Decide to make that move and get packing!
This is written because I care …Carlene

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