October 24, 2014

Contemplating Contentment...

The definition is always the best place to start.
1. the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
2. Archaic. the act of making contentedly satisfied.

Those were my only 2 options? Wow, dictionary.com I feel a bit disappointed in your definitions this time...my English teachers would be slightly disappointed too, I think!

One thing that always comes to mind when I hear the word contentment is 1 Timothy 6:6 from the Bible. I learned that verse growing up and it has stuck with me. It was one of those verses that I never completely understood...until I lived in a rented farmhouse for 16 years. While living there, I began to understand what contentment really looked like (or rather felt like).

If you have never read this portion or pondered it, consider reading 1 Timothy. It is a wonderful instruction from an older Christian (Paul) to a younger man (Timothy). There is so much more to 6:6 than meets the eye because it starts with a "but" which means you need to read what comes before & after to get the real meaning.

For the sake of space I included some different versions of only 1 Timothy 6:6 to contemplate (Hey look at that another "c" word! I think I will adjust my post title, which will mean adding in a 2nd definition today-woohoo!) However, I would encourage you to read all of 1 Timothy. It isn't a very long book, yet it is full of so much. Paul, an older missionary, was instructing Timothy, a young man just beginning his missionary journey, on what Christ-likeness looks like.
We all have a mission field no matter where we are & what we are doing.
SAHM's: your mission field is your home
FTemployee: your workplace is your mission field
Business Owner: your mission field is everyone your business comes in contact with on a daily basis from employees to clients.
Writers: your readers or potential readers are your mission field.
Volunteer: the group you serve is your mission field.
Being a missionary does not require one to live over seas in a foreign country, because as Christ-followers, we are supposed to be foreigners in this world anyway. (But that is another post for another day!)
NIV (& quite a few other versions): "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
AMP: "[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [a]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain."
MSG: (6-8): "A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough."
NLT: "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth."
NCV: "Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have."
TLB: "Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good."
(This one feels very simplistic to me...but isn't that the point of contentment? Simplicity seems to be an intricate part of contentment.)

Oh, I almost forgot the 2nd definition for today.
verb (used with object), contemplated, contemplating.
1. to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully
2. to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about
3. to have as a purpose; intend.
4. to have in view as a future event
verb (used without object), contemplated, contemplating.
5. to think studiously; meditate; consider deliberately.
(Check that out...my English teachers would be so thrilled with those definitions!!! Not one strike-through!)

Contemplating Contentment:Where is your mission field?
How have you realized the value of contentment in your mission field?
Consider contemplating contentment today & sharing in the comment section...
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Kathleen Rouser said...

There is a lot here to contemplate! The funny thing
about life, I am learning, is that it’s easier to focus
on that which you’re missing in your life than what
or Who you have already. The Lord has been working
in my heart to be content in Him, just being in Him.
Focusing on Jesus does help me to be thankful for
Him and His many blessings. Jesus Calling is a
wonderful devotional book that has at times
helped me to get that focus back on His presence.

shelly k said...

Thank you for taking time to read & comment.
I have the Jesus Calling devotional too & it is wonderful about bringing our focus to Him. I also have the His Princess series by Sheri Rose Shepherd. They are like reading love letters from God to me....all based on His Word! They were so encouraging to me during a very rough spiritual patch. Learning contentment I think is a life-long journey! Best wishes to you today

Tom Threadgill said...

You can't use the word to define itself! Everybody knows that. :)

And thank you for sharing 1 Timothy and focusing on contentment. In this age of preaching a prosperity gospel, it's wonderfully refreshing to be reminded of the Truth!

shelly k said...

Tom: everyone except dictionary.com it seems ;)
Thank you. We aren't promised 'easy' or prosperity...we are promised that He has overcome & will supply our needs. Big difference :) have a great day.

Karla Akins said...

Contentment is a gift we give ourselves. It keeps our feet firmly planted where they belong. Very nice post.

shelly k said...

Thanks Karla-not sure how I missed your comment.