Journey to Contentment

We're pleased to have Charles Forrest, a member at Calvary Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC, as our guest blogger this week. Charles writes:

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Which would you choose: contentment or $1,000,000?

I've asked a lot of people this question. Rarely are people wishy-washy about which they think is best. The answer usually depends on age; younger folks choosing the $1,000,000 and middle to older participants saying contentment is more valuable. Contentment, of course, is not about age; it's about maturity. It's about a right attitude.

One young man said, "I want both!" But can the young man have both? Of course, but only if he has the right attitude. It's similar to understanding the difference between hoarding and saving. We say hoarding is bad and saving is good, but the difference between the two is attitude. As maturity is important to life, attitude is important to all things spiritual.

Joshua clearly understood what God meant when he said I'm going to give Israel the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Joshua knew that they were going to have to fight for every foot using weapons they made with their own hands. He knew he had to take action to receive this "gift". Similarly, God says He wants to bless us, then the first thing He asks us to do is "give". Do we have Joshua's understanding, his attitude?

Where did Joshua's understanding come from? How can we teach it to our children? Dave Ramsey, author of Smart Money, Smart Kids, believes this attitude starts with one bold action step: giving. When your children focus on providing for the real needs of others, they shift from being selfish to selfless. Giving, with the right attitude, leads to humility. C.S. Lewis once said humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. There is a trail that runs from giving to humility to gratitude to contentment. Do you see it?

Contentment is founded on being thankful. It's called gratitude. Being thankful gives you the opportunity to feel joy. If you can feel joy, you can be a blessing to God. If you are a blessing to God, then you can be a blessing to others. If you are a blessing to others, then you can wear a crown of splendor. With a crown of splendor comes a rich, full, and rewarding life. Contentment is worthy of the journey.