Discontentment has forever come in the guise of being a means to get more in life. A lot of people think that an attitude of wanting more brings more value to their lives. And while an covetous heart might get us more brands, attention, vacations or power, it doesn’t necessarily bring us more value.
Today’s social media culture has brought about a new level of envy and showboating. There’s no counting the number of times news feeds are pumped with beach photos, food shots, check ins at holidays and so on. There’s also no way to know how many people look at these posts and think to themselves “I want this too.”
There’s nothing wrong about wanting more. If you want to move forward, then definitely a desire for more growth, acquisition and generation definitely has to happen. But just like everything in life, desire has a threshold.
Do you start desiring things people have more than the things you have currently? Do you feel an uneasy tug in your heart when your friend posts that he or she is going to Maldives and you secretly feel jealous?
1 Timothy 6:6 reminds us, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Discontentment wants us to think that it’s the way to get more, but the truth is we gain more through contentment. If you want to win in life, the game is contentment not envy. Here are four ways that contentment actually causes you to win more.
1. More focus
A direct response to a heart of contentment is greater focus- focus on what resources, gifts, opportunities and calling that you have. Focus in a world full of distractions is a rare commodity. But that’s basic economics for you- less supply means higher demand.
Focus more on what we have instead of spreading our attention and heart to what we don’t have. Greater focus always leads to greater success.
2. More stewardship
Greater focus leads to greater stewardship. Stewardship is simply the care and responsibility of the things that we have. Greater stewardship not only improves the quality of the things we currently have- influence, resources and skills- but also opens us up to the possibility of gaining more.
Luke 16:10 reminds us, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”
3. More enjoyment
The world wants us to believe that having more will cause more joy, but more often than not the opposite will happen. Many people don’t need more things, influence, position, power or money.
We just need more contentment. Contentment is great gain because it brings about an internal joy that builds up faster than the fleeting adrenaline of getting something new and shiny.
4. More meaning
Meaning and purpose is not our ability to gain more value for ourselves. It’s the ability to give more value to others. Contentment shifts us from a position of gaining to a position of giving. When we live with contentment, we put our hearts in a place to desire more for others than for ourselves.
As a direct result, we build more meaning. That’s because calling has very little with what you gain, but what you help others gain. True purpose is dependent on the contentment of your heart. It’s virtually impossible to build a legacy if all we think about is what we get.
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com