If you struggle with being content in your circumstances, or just want to increase the level of contentment that you already have, here are twelve suggestions.
They are taken from the classic book by Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. I read it every few years and gain something new each time.
1. Fill your soul with grace
All the tricks and tools won’t do you any good if you don’t get a grip on your heart. Let grace be the ballast in your boat. Think about grace, notice grace, receive grace.
2. Keep a loose grip on the world
Eventually, whatever you’re involved with will bring trouble and thorns. Choose carefully where you set your ego. Don’t connect your identity with circumstances.
3. Be sure this is where you’re supposed to be
Occasionally double-check your physical and spiritual GPS. When you are where God has called you, you can be quiet and content even when you meet with trouble.
4. Play fair
Whatever your work is, go by the rules. Be ethical. Seek to serve, not to be served. Stay within God’s boundaries for his protection. You’ll sleep better at night when your conscience is clear.
5. Live by faith
Never forget God’s promise that all things work for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Exercise your faith by believing his truths.
6. Think spiritually
Meditate on things above (Colossians 3:1). Go higher. Talk more with God. Rise above the snakes that crawl below.
7. Be realistic
Don’t expect the world’s material blessings to fall at your doorstep. Don’t promise yourself different things than God promises you.
8. Die to the world daily
If your heart is dead to the world, you won’t be tossed about by its upheavals. Let your happiness come from outside the world.
9. Don’t dwell on heartaches
Dwell instead on things that comfort you. Thank God often for his mercies.
10. Reframe the past in God’s favor
“Make a good interpretation of God’s ways toward you.”
There are many interpretations you can put on an event. Choose the truthful one, the one that shows God’s glory. Love thinks no evil.
11. Don’t depend on others’ interpretations
Comparison kills. Do you think your wealth is small because you measure it by America’s yardstick?
“Oh, do not let your happiness depend on the fancies of other men.”
12. Don’t get too comfortable with comforts.
When you have comforts, enjoy them, but don’t become dependent upon them. That way you won’t fall apart if one day they are removed.
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Do you struggle with being content? Which of these 12 ways do you want to try? Please share in the comments.
revised from the archives
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