Satisfaction VS. Contentment

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Power Verse: v.6

I was recently asked, “Are you satisfied with the way things are?” I had no idea how to answer such a huge, vague question. When I hear the word “satisfied” I immediately think of how we all probably felt yesterday evening, right after Thanksgiving dinner. Webster’s 1828 defines it this way: “satisfy- to gratify wants, wishes or desires to the full extent, to supply possessions or enjoyment till no more can be desired.” Till no more can be desired? How many of us reached a point yesterday when we knew we could not eat another bite? You eventually shoveled in that last bite of pumpkin pie (or Seven-Up Punch Bowl Cake, OMG!) and suddenly you desired no more. But let’s think about at what point satisfaction is acquired. At most Thanksgiving dinners yesterday the order of events went something like this: someone asked the blessing, you got a plate and then you take a look at everything spread before you. You had plenty of options and free choice to get whatever you wanted and as much of it as you wanted. And that’s exactly what you did. You piled up your plate with anything you chose and then you ate it. Maybe you went back for seconds and that was just fine. That’s Thanksgiving. Then you headed back for dessert. Plenty of options again and freedom to take all you want and as much as you want. Then at last, you attained that magical state: satisfaction. You gave yourself everything you wanted until you could want no more: satisfaction. That’s pretty easy to attain on Thanksgiving. But can we really attain that in life? Are you satisfied with your life? I’m not sure. Is that even possible? Could I give myself everything I want until I can want no more? Could any of us do that, and not wind up in jail eventually? Satisfaction would be a dangerous thing to attempt and more importantly a sinful thing to attempt for Christians. That is why the word satisfaction was not used in 1 Timothy 6:6, but rather Paul used a very different word: contentment. Contentment is a different word, and an entirely different concept. “Content: rest or quietness of mind in the present conditions, restraining complaint, opposition, or FURTHER DESIRE!” Restraining further desire!!!!! Not fulfilling our further desire? Really? But isn’t that what everyone keeps telling us we deserve? Don’t we all deserve to have everything our selfish, silly, human brains can fabricate? The apostle Paul had no home, wife or possessions. He traveled around entirely dependent on the charity of the churches he ministered to. And yet this man, this traveling, homeless, celibate preacher says in Philippians 4:11 “…for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” Do you really think Paul had everything he had ever desired? NO! But at some point he learned to start restraining his desires and he continued restraining those desires until there was an equality, a balance between what he desired and what God was going to allow him to have. And right there, right in the center when the balance has leveled out (in Paul’s life and in ours) is the magical state of: not satisfaction, but something much more profound: contentment, rest, peace.  So what is the answer to the question I was asked?  “Are you satisfied with the way things are?” Uh….no! Are you? Have you gotten everything you ever wanted in life until you could want no more? I doubt we’ve gotten everything we wanted even this morning! A far more important, and spiritual, question is this: Are you CONTENT with the way things are?  Because as most of us found out about midnight last night, (especially those who ate Misty’s ninja dressing) getting everything you want isn’t always good for you in the long run.

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2 thoughts on “Satisfaction VS. Contentment

  1. It is ALWAYS a choice…And NO one but YOU …has the power to make it!..I’ve seen plenty ..of satisfied folks….who will never really know the joy of contentment….( Elvis Presley)….etc…Godliness WITH contentment is great gain! Get closer to God and some how satisfying HIM…makes you more content…Enjoyed it…Thanks!

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