Is it Contempt or Contentment?

July 13, 2022

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:9-10

When are You Most Content?

Think about the last time you felt true and genuine contentment. Unfortunately for many of us, we don’t often find ourselves feeling content in the midst of our everyday, mundane moments. The times we feel most happy and content with our lives end up being when we’re on vacation or when we achieve success in the earthly sense.

But what if we redefined “contentment” in terms of what God has done and is doing in our lives, rather than the ways we can do more for ourselves? Is it contempt or contentment that’s guiding the trajectory of our lives?

Climbing Up or Falling Down?

Our world has branded achievement and accomplishment through the lens of “climbing up the ladder” of success. Scripture, however, see the effects of this chase as being able to “plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). Where we only see the heights we can ascend to, we must be wary of the depths we can sink into.

It’s not that we should seek to not do well in school, at work, or within our various circles of influence; rather, it’s the mindset of prizing and prioritizing money, power, and influence over that which will last forever: the work of God’s kingdom. We must ask ourselves if our desire for earthly gain leads us to feel contempt towards what we have and those around us, rather than the charity and goodwill we’re called to as we are living on mission for Him.

What’s Your Guiding Force?

If we find ourselves feeling like our situation⁠—or those within our circles of influence⁠—are beneath us, then we can know that contempt is taking precedence over our contentment. But contentment doesn’t just mean being bare-minimum okay with what we have, or therefore being unwilling to pursue our goals or dreams; it means that we see God’s hand in where we currently find ourselves. Contentment also means trusting that He is guiding our paths as we seek to follow His will for our lives.

Contentment means having gratitude and humility and seeing the value in where God has placed us. Don’t let the love of worldly wealth stop you from seeing the good that’s currently in your hands and all around you. As you consider the guiding force behind your actions and life trajectory, ask yourself, “Is this contempt or contentment?”

What Now?

Take stock of where you currently find yourself. Are you truly content? And if not, why not? Reflect on the things in your life that feel inadequate to where you would like to be. Then, consider whether or not you are really living on God’s mission and utilizing His passions for His glory. Are you intentionally using your gifts for His glory? Ask His to reveal how you can better serve Him where you are as you continue pursuing His will.