Enjoy What You Have Right Now

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Ambition and contentment have nothing to do with each other. You can have both. Contentment isn’t laziness, complacency, apathy, or fatalism. It's enjoying what you have right now rather than waiting for something else to happen so you can be happy.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12 NLT).

One reason so many of us are stressed out today is we’re rarely content with what we have. We always want more—more money, more pleasure, more power. We want more of just about everything.

The Bible shows us another way, though.

The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (NLT).

Let’s be clear here. It’s not that Paul didn’t have ambition. He was probably one of the most ambitious people who has ever lived. He singlehandedly took the Gospel all across the Roman Empire.

But he had learned contentment. Ambition and contentment have nothing to do with each other. You can have both.

Contentment isn’t laziness, complacency, apathy, or fatalism.

Contentment is enjoying what you have right now rather than waiting for something else to happen so you can be happy.

It doesn’t mean you don’t want to make progress. It doesn’t mean you don’t have goals.

It just means you’re happy with what you have.

Too often we’ve bought into wrongheaded myths that advertisers have taught us, like these:

  • Having more will make me happy.
  • Having more will make me more important.
  • Having more will make me more secure.

None of those statements are true. They’re all lies—and they keep us from the lasting peace we long for.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:6: “It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind” (GNT).

Peace of mind beats relentlessly chasing more every single time.

Talk It Over

What are some good examples of proper ambitions you’ve seen?

What areas of your life tend to be the largest sources of discontent?

What have you chased in your life that brought you stress instead of joy?

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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