The Illusion of Contentment

The Illusion of Contentment

Ahhh, contentment—that feeling when you pull your legs onto the mattress and snuggle down into the covers after a long day—or when you lay completely still on the warm sand at the beach with your eyes closed, listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

Have you noticed the feeling doesn’t last long, though?    

It seems the human race, especially those who live in the Western world, are obsessed with contentment. Yes, it’s the American dream to have more, bigger, and better. We are never fully satisfied with our current situation. In fact, contentment to most people is an illusion.

What if I told you we aren’t supposed to be content?  

“In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of dissatisfaction in life—longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity. We’re not happy because we aren’t supposed to be! Earth is not our final home; we were created for something better.” Rick Warren

We were designed for more than this world has to offer.

We are spiritual beings who will come up wanting time and time again if we attempt to find contentment in the temporal.

  • More stuff will not satisfy.
  • More money will not satisfy.
  • More knowledge will not satisfy.
  • More sex will not satisfy.
  • More popularity will not satisfy.
  • More Instagram followers will not satisfy.
  • More power will not satisfy.
  • More influence will not satisfy.
  • More beauty will not satisfy.
  • More strength will not satisfy.
  • More religion will not satisfy.

The things of this earth are temporary—even our bodies are temporary. Jesus tells us the earth and everything in it will pass away for the exception of His words.

God and His Word are eternal—the source of true and lasting contentment.

“You satisfy me more than the richest feast. “ Psalm 63:5

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9

Contentment does not mean being satisfied where you are. Rather, it is knowing and trusting God, His word, and plan for your life.

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God is more concerned about our growth than with our contentment.

The fact is, an investment in spiritual growth takes sacrifice and discipline, but it is the best investment that we will ever make. We aren’t just talking a long-term investment. We are talking ETERNAL.

Are you struggling with feelings of discontentment?

I have noticed that when I’m feeling discontent, I can usually trace it to a few common sources. It’s easy to get out of balance on the bumpy road of life. When a car hits a big pothole, it’s in danger of becoming out of alignment. I think the same is true for us.

As Christians, we are to be lights in this dark world groping in darkness for true contentment. But this broken world we live in can sap the joy of the Lord from us in a New York minute if we aren’t careful. When this happens, it’s important to take pause before the discontentment takes over—and we are no longer lights.

Spiritual Alignment Checklist

  • Attitude
  • Heart
  • Thoughts
  • Trust
  • Priorities

If any of the above gets out of whack, I have no peace and contentment. Now, I’m not saying it’s easy to get back into alignment when life has thrown me a curveball such as a job loss or a death. But I have noticed trials and dissatisfaction have forced me to my knees before the Lord.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis

In closing, let me say this:

We will never find true contentment with the world.

The key to true contentment is trusting and obeying God.

He is a good God who only does good things and wants to prosper you.

So, here comes the tough questions that I hope you will take time to reflect upon. How’s your heart? Your attitude? Your thought life? Your trust in God? Your priorities?

Let’s make it our goal to be content that God’s ways are perfect and we can trust Him. Contentment is an attitude of a surrendered heart that will follow us into eternity with our Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be content in You no matter what my circumstances are. Show me areas where I am out of alignment so that I can get back to an attitude of gratitude with You. 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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12 thoughts on “The Illusion of Contentment”

  1. Beckie — nice post –
    I especially like your Spiritual Alignment Checklist— we all need these.

    When these are in order – our chances to prosper with God increase dramatically.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beckie, thank you for powerful reminders that earthly pleasures don’t yield long-lasting contentment. I loved this sentence: “Contentment does not mean being satisfied where you are. Rather, it is knowing and trusting God, His word, and plan for your life.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fresh message on contentment, Beckie. I also like the spiritual alignment checklist. Recently, I took my vehicle in for a regular maintenance. And they always provide me with a checklist like if my tires were rotated or my car is out of alignment…and oil life, belts, filters, and so on.

    God IS more concerned with our growth than contentment. And nothing brings 100% satisfaction guaranteed other than Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I need the spiritual alignment checklist. So grateful for the Lord’s patience with us as we grow. I’m so pleased this post was a blessing. That’s a big answer to my prayers as I write. I know that same is true for you.


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