Contentment – What does that even mean?

We can get religious.  Just be content where you are.  We can drop in some misused Pauline quotes.  The favorite is in Philippians 4 where Paul says, “I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation.”  So just don’t want.  ”Just Be” is how we take that.  But that isn’t really what Paul is getting at.  The “secret” isn’t to kill desire.  It’s not to be ok with whatever.  Paul gives us the secret in the next verse – through Jesus “who gives me strength”.

Paul had learned that regardless of what he felt, Jesus would meet him and sustain it.  His identity, joy, or overall life was not wrapped up in unmet desire or circumstance. That is the contentment Paul was talking about.  He wasn’t saying, “Don’t feel.  Don’t try to make things different. Stay as you are it’s fine.”  No Paul was saying Jesus was bigger than all of that.  He is saying let whatever your situation is let it drive you to Jesus.  I don’t need to kill my desire or have it met the wrong way.  I need to walk straight into unmet desire – with Jesus.

– Quoted from: Unmet Desire Is Good.

I really appreciated this post, specifically for what the author says about contentment. It’s a topic I often struggle with because I feel as if contentment in every situation is some sort of level I haven’t yet reached. As if there’s something missing in my relationship with God because I’m unable to just be completely satisfied or at peace in Jesus. After reading this, I feel that achieving satisfaction and peace in Jesus is possible with his help, however, that doesn’t mean that one’s longings or desires go away. Nor do they need to. Having a desire or longing for something does not necessarily equate to being discontent.

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