In ‘Other’ Words: Contentment vs Satisfaction

Posted: February 21, 2012 in In Other Words
Tags: ,

“Being content does not mean we are satisfied.
In fact, to be content is to know we will always
be groaning on this side of eternity.
Yet when we believe that fullness will come,
that there is more that this life,
we live with contentment.”

Lisa Graham McMinn, The Contented Soul
(from devotional,  Mornings with Jesus,
January 30th’s devotion
which I am giving a copy away this week)

I

am very content in my home . . .  until . . . I visit someone else’s home, especially for the first time,  and it’s easy to compare, and wish I had a master bedroom with our own bathroom, or more closet space, or new plush carpet with matching furniture.  It’s easy to, putting it bluntly, covet.  And then, it’s easy to take it further . . . if only I had an outside job, or my husband had a different job . . . and then, nothing seems satisfactory.  And then, I can become quite unhappy with who I am . . . and I can critique so much . . .  if only I had . . . 

 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—
no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of
everything that can’t be bought.
Matthew 5:5 (MSG)

And then, when I let things settle, and I see all I have . . . see the things I have of eternal value, really, what can match it?  Our children are following God . . . all but our youngest have made dedications to Jesus personally.  I cannot buy their salvation, or work for it, or give it to them.  And when I may see those that have more materially than us, I know there’s so many more with so much less . . . those living in huts with leaky roofs, mama’s looking at their children with swollen bellies, wondering if their child will get food that day.  I can pick up the phone and make a doctor’s appointment for my child usually the same or next day.  Others may never have their child seen by a doctor.  I have indoor plumbing with no flies swarming around me or some critters running across my feet.  It might not be new carpeting on my floor, but it’s not a  dirt floor.  My kids may say they are “starving” just an hour after a meal, but they have not a clue what starving is.  I may wonder what to make for dinner and nothing may sound good, but I have a month’s supply of spaggehti noodles, canned peaches, venison, corn and so much more.  

And I feel guilty.  How can I not be content when I can crawl into warmed sheets these winter nights and wake up to the smell of coffee and little feet running on the floors above us?  Oh, there’s pains.  There’s our missing children we’ve buried we have to wait for heaven to reunite with . . . there’s broken relationships and misunderstandings . . .there’s still my daughter who will need more open heart surgeries and unknown heartbreaks I know we will still endure in the years ahead.    

I may not always be satisfied, but, I can take a deep breath, and know God knows, He’s not turning away or rejecting, and promises of eternity will never diminish . . . and there is contentment.

PS. . .Don’t miss out on my giveaway for the devotional book the above quote came from!

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Comments
  1. Having an eternal perspective always helps us have a thankful & contented heart :). I enjoyed reading your insightful post.

  2. Wandering eyes can be the death of us! Praising God you’ve learned to look in instead of out.

    Loni, the linky tool isn’t working. I can’t get to any link. Here’s the URL of my post: http://tamiboesiger.blogspot.com/2012/02/secret-to-being-content.html

  3. Central Oregon Christian Women Fellowship says:

    I was having problem with the linky tool too. Need to be content with the situation right? Probably cuz its using my wordpress account and not my blogspot. Oopss. I love your post. It was so right on in describing what makes us be discontent. All it takes is a trip to a neighbor’s house or the local store to see what we would “like” to have. Thanks for hosting today. Karen My link is:

    http://karijofluffy.blogspot.com/2012/02/satisfied-not-stuck.html

  4. […] in community with Loni and the gals of In Other Words. Come over to see what others wrote about this quote or join in. […]

  5. CindyWaldrop says:

    Good insight. I’m not a stuff girl – I don’t crave stuff and am content. Others’ experiences like travel, dinner dates, time with friends gets me wrapped into covetousness sometimes. I always remind myself that this or that is just not in the plans. Maybe they will be or maybe not. But God knows my heart.

    Thanks for hosting, Tami. We’re having coffee this morning

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