I think most would agree being content is not an attitude that comes easy.
I wish I could just wake up content, but I think the opposite is true; I wake up wanting. I believe this is why Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11 he has “learned how to be content with whatever I have.”
Have you ever seen an advertisement suggesting, “Don’t worry, you don’t need this.” Nope! Billions and billions and billions are spent on pushing back against contentment, convincing us stuff, trips, and food will bring about completion, then we will be content. But it’s only good until the next thing comes along. It never stops.
So where does wanting end and being content begin? Are you ready for this, because it’s pretty genius… Jesus! As Shannon said, and many before him, and many after him, Jesus is enough.
The first key to giving generously is being content. Why? Because we no longer hold tightly to anything anymore. There are no more strongholds to what we believe is ours, or to what we feel we have a right to possess.
The writer of Hebrews 13:5 says, “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.'” Being content positions us to be free. Jesus is the “more” we deeply desire, and Christ meets all our needs (see Philippians 4:19). The result of trusting Jesus is more security, more love, more hope, and more freedom. Our response to this more is the outflow of generosity!
To find contentment, I would suggest you not go home, empty your closet, cancel trips, and empty your bank account. But I would implore you to be with Jesus more. Trust the process and let Jesus do the work in you as you obey Him. Let Jesus draw out of you the desire for more stuff and begin to replace it with a heart of compassion and tenderness for others.
In Paul’s letter 1 Timothy 6:6-8, he writes, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” I love it! We don’t gain by getting more. It’s the opposite; we gain by being good with what we have, and what we have is immeasurably more than we could ever imagine (see Ephesians 3:20)!
Have you stopped and thought about what you have? Not just stuff, but the blessings we receive for knowing Christ! Considering what you already have leads to a heart of gratitude, contentment, generosity. You have Jesus!