Slow Down By Learning Contentment
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11 NIV).
If you’re serious about slowing down, you don’t start with your schedule. You start with your heart.
Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV). Notice the word “learned.” You are not by nature a contented person. Neither am I! I’m a discontented person. It is my nature to want things to be different, to want them to be better. It is not my nature to be contented, and neither is yours. But if you’re going to slow down your life, you have to learn contentment. It’s learned over time.
How do you do that? Paul also says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
He’s saying life isn’t about things. I didn’t have anything before I was born. I’m not going to have anything after I die. Yes, I need things, but they’re not what life is about, so I’ll just be content with what I’ve got.
Let me explain what contentment is not. Contentment is not abandoning your ambition. You ought to have ambition. You ought to make the most of what God has given you. God says it’s good to have godly ambition. Contentment doesn’t mean you don’t have any goals, dreams, or plans for your life.
Contentment means this: You don’t need more in order to be happy. You’re happy right now with what you’ve been given.
Happiness is a choice. You are as happy as you choose to be! You can’t blame unhappiness on your circumstances. If you’re not happy with your circumstances, you’re not going to be happy with different ones. There will always be something wrong. We live on a broken planet, and nothing is perfect.
God wants you to learn to be happy in spite of difficult situations by trusting that he will give you exactly what you need when you need it.
Talk It Over
- How will learning contentment help you slow down your life?
- What does it mean to have godly ambition?
- Since learning contentment is a process, what is one step you can take today to practice gratitude?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.