How To Be Content and Happy With What We Have
By Angie Lewis
you content and happy with the house, job, spouse, money, car
and stuff you have? There is absolutely nothing wrong with
wanting to have more stuff, but if we are discontent with what
we already have, we’ll never achieve more, or be truly happy.
It’s because it never ends – we’ll always want more! It’s an
attitude we have that keeps us wanting to have better and more
stuff. This is where the “grass is greener on the other side of
the fence” attitude derives from. We think we need more to be
happy, but it is a farce.
Better one handful with tranquility that two handfuls with toil and
chasing after the wind.
Being in debt is like chasing after the wind. When will you catch it? We can be content and happy with what we already have when we realize two important facts. Fact number one: Change your attitude. Having a better house, another job, a different spouse, a bigger paycheck, a nicer car will not make us happier people. Having more stuff will not bring us contentment in this life, yet we are continually complaining about not having enough stuff or wanting better stuff. We are making ourselves unhappy by our attitude.
We have been conditioned into believing, since we were children that happiness and contentment comes from having more stuff and better stuff. We complain so much about what we don’t have that we never actually achieve anything more - our attitude actually keeps us stuck within our own discontent of not having anything, or at least, we think we don’t have anything.
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.
We think we don’t have anything or we think the stuff we have is not good enough because we’re always comparing our lives with others. We look across the street and think our neighbor’s lawn looks greener than our own lawn. We’ve been blinded - it’s a mirage! Your neighbor’s are unhappy with what they have too because they are comparing their life with yours.
Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.
1 Corinthians 7:17
Fact number two: When we stop being discontented and unhappy and we give our lives over to God we realize we are happy with what we already have – it all belongs to God anyway! Why couldn’t we see that before? Because the “wanting attitude” distracts of from the ways of God. But when we give up the wanting we come to know how blessed we are to drive the seven-year old car that we have, to live in the smaller home on the block, and to be utilizing the same clothes we wore last year. Life is good!
God let’s us know that happiness is not having walk-in closets crammed with new clothes and shoes, or having the biggest house in our subdivision, and happiness certainly is not finding a different spouse. Happiness comes from within. Happiness comes from letting go of the negative feelings we have allowed to bombard us every single day. Living in our negative feelings is an addiction – it becomes and addiction because we don’t want to let them go.
Contentment comes through Christ’s love for us. He gives us the peace we need to be content with our life as it is! God did not create us to be greedy for more or to make a million dollars. God made us to enjoy life in its simplest ways, to be blessed with what we already have and what He has given us. God wants us to live life to its fullest now! But how can we do that if we’re always complaining about what we don’t have?
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.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
What’s all this “striving to have more stuff” sermons we’ve been hearing lately all about? Are Christians being deceived into thinking its ok to strive for riches and status on their own terms? Whatever happened about striving to be all that we can be through God? Or what about striving to have more stuff through God? Without God at the helm its pure humanism, plain and simple, and goes against the very spirit of love and how to love others appropriately in the Lord.
God made us to be real people, not without worries or cares but to be honest and loving; never to compare ourselves to others, but to strive to be the best we can through Him. That is where happiness and contentment can be found.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.