I was leading a Bible discussion at the headquarters of General Foods. It was a very interesting group because we had executives, middle management, and line workers all together discussing God’s truths on a weekly basis. It was a very special time.
One week I began the discussion with a question for everyone to answer, “Assuming that the value of a dollar remained constant forever, what annual salary would you need to be paid in order to be content forever?” Of course some of the initial responses were outrageous amounts like $1 million or half a million, but then some answers began to moderate – $100,000, $35,000. I expected the grand amounts, but I was surprised at the more modest sums. But then I asked the follow-up question, “For which of you would the amount you mentioned be the amount you make now or less?” Can you guess the answer? NONE!
No matter how extreme or how modest our ideals are, all thought that contentment would be attained with just a little bit more.
But that belief is the foundation of discontentment – the continual quest for more!
Paul in Philippians 4 states, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (vv.11-13)
The secret of contentment is realizing that all I need I already have in Christ Jesus. As Peter declares, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” (II Peter 1:3)
The realization that all God offers me in Christ is a present possession that creates a spirit of gratitude. And gratitude is the only attitude that will create genuine contentment.
Contentment is wanting what you already have!
So, this Thanksgiving begin a celebration of gratitude and don’t ever let it end. Continue it throughout the year and the remainder of your life. This is the secret of contentment.