One Word: Content

Welcome back to One Word, a reader-requested series where an entire post is based around word the word of the day chosen by readers who sent in suggestions through the Your Suggestions page.  Last week, we talked about communication.  Check that out if you haven’t already.  Our second word of the day for the series is content, or as it is translated in Spanish, contento.

Content is a noun or adjective which is defined as (being in) a state of peaceful happiness or satisfaction.  It can also be a verb meaning to satisfy.  The word has Latin origins from the word contentus from the verb continere which means to contain.  Synonyms include but are not limited to: satisfied, pleased, fulfilled, glad, happy, and cheerful.

“Contentment is an attitude that says, ‘I am satisfied with what God has given me.’”

We live in a culture of discontentment.  Once we have the things that we think will make everything better, the next version comes out, and we so desperately want that instead of focusing on what we already have.  There is such a desire for the newest thing that we forget what we already have in our disposal.  A classic example that is easy to come to is cell phones.  There are many people who wait expectantly each year for the next phone to come out with slightly different and improved features.  There comes to a point where you need to be thankful for what you have.  My first phone was a flip phone, and what I currently have is so much greater than that. (For those who were afraid to press the internet button because that was an unaffordable luxury, but now it is as simple as two taps of a screen).  We, as people, have taken for granted all we have been given.  We need to remember what God has done in our lives and thank Him that we are where we are.  Thank Him for all the things that we have that we don’t deserve.  Beyond that, being content if we do not receive anything else.

“What’s important is being content with life, not stuff, and therby reducing your needs.” –Leo Babauta

So, think about all the things God has done in your life.  Think beyond the material possessions.  Think about the struggles that He brought you through.  Think about the people who He put in your life.  Remember the lessons He taught you.  Recall the prayers He answered.  All of that and more is worth eternal praise to God (and I only said the past year).  Think even further, and we ought to be content with what God has done for us.  We should be thankful for the endless blessings that He has given us.  As think about how you have changed over the past few years, thank God for all He has done and how He brought about that change.

“To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you are thankful for what you have and patient for what is to come.” –Tony Gaskins

I would like to partially challenge the above quote by adding a little more.  I believe it is also being pleased even if nothing more is to come for a while.  We have been so blessed that if God does nothing else, He has done more than enough.  We don’t deserve the things we have been blessed with.  We don’t deserve to be blessed.  We are sinners constantly rebelling against God and going against His nature, but guess what.  He loves us.  He loves us more than words can fathom, and that is why He blesses us.  We ought to recognize that we don’t deserve our blessings which should change the way that we view them.  He has done more for us than we can ever say which is mind-boggling.  We can be content in the amazing work He has already done in us.

“Dear God, I want to take a minute not to ask anything from you but simply to thank you, for all I have.”

This quote, this prayer is something that is so impactful because contentment is something that I struggle with, and sometimes I don’t even realize how discontent I can really be.  And some days are much better than others, but the reality is there is always room for improvement.  The first step is simply praying to thank God for what He has done.  Make a habit out of it.  Thank you, God for this thing You did right now because it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for You.  You can always ask God for help in being more content and thankful.  That is never a bad idea.  What are some ways that you can be more content with how God has blessed you?

There is still time to submit word entries for later posts in the series.  Simply go to the Your Suggestions page to leave a word that you want me to cover in a post.  You can submit the English word, and I will translate it to be the word of the day (if it hasn’t already been used). This offer ends on Friday, so take advantage of it while you can.  And share the blog with a friend.


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