I have heard this word so many times, it sometimes loses its meaning. Our souls want it. Our marketing is threatened by it. Our hearts are stirred towards it. Our bodies crave the opposite.
One of the problems is that many of us LOVE this word, this concept, but when pressed we can't define it.
Is contentment what makes me - but maybe not others - happy?
Is contentment lazy, laissez-faire, slackerism and who decides that?
What does Jesus have to do with this contentment thing and how do I get near this?
In his book Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm, Dr. Richard Swenson gives a tremendous definition that is rooted in the teachings of Jesus (especially the Sermon on the Mount). I want to offer it as a meditation and a challenge to you today ESPECIALLY if this concept of contentment means anything to you. Here goes:
(Contentment is freedom) Freedom from wanting more than is good for us. Freedom to wish blessing on everyone we meet without the slightest tinge of envy. Freedom to redefine wealthy and possessions in biblical rather than cultural terms. Freedoms to gladly surrender our strife and have it replaced by His rest. Freedom to be biblically authentic in an age of financially-forced compromises. Freedom to understand that one heart, inhabited by Christ, is enough to take on the world’s opinion machine. (14)