Practicing Contentment

Are you wishing your life away, grasping for something different, better, or more prestigious than your current circumstances? Often, we forgo happiness and contentment, right now, by comparing ourselves to others or focusing on what we don’t have.

Contentment doesn’t always come easily to us. In the last two difficult years, we’ve had a choice: live in a state of frustration and fear or learn to be content with our circumstances.

Following are aids to help you grow in contentedness:

Avoid Comparisons

The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” has been around for decades. It refers to watching your neighbors, seeing their acquisitions—cars, boats, trips, a remodel or house addition—and feeling you have to make purchases or do something similar of equal or greater value. Watching others and attempting to “top” them is a discontentment trap. Often comparison translates into competition and both are the enemies of contentment.

Recognize Blessings

A friend recently said, “If you live in the America, no matter what your income or circumstances, you are blessed.” He is right. We have so many freedoms that those in other countries do not experience. We do not live with the level of anxiety others do, fearing a home invasion, imprisonment, torture, seizure of assets, or government overthrow. We are free to worship, speak, and go where we please unhindered. We have access to medical care and numerous types of aid and programs.

Attaining contentment is a process that requires recognizing blessings and finding joy, even when circumstances are difficult. If you need help focusing on ways you are blessed, make a list. Include everything we take for granted, like food, shelter, and transportation. Then, add the intangibles. The more you add to your list, the greater your understanding and sense of contentment.

Be at Peace

Experiencing peace can prove challenging. So much in our world today is divisive, strident, negative, and upsetting. One of the first steps to living a life at peace is being thankful for who you are and your life as it is. Accept what you have. Look for positives in your circumstances. Often, we see faults in ourselves, and others, and focus on the bad instead of good qualities.

Enhance peace by avoiding arguments, on social media and elsewhere, and distance yourself from people who are constantly militant, finding one cause after another to champion.

Let go of past hurts and forgive those who did you wrong. Harboring resentment toward others negates peace. Only through forgiveness and releasing the past can you sustain forward motion.

Do all you can to live at peace with those around you. Praise God for all he has given you and ask him to provide a sense of peace that passes human understanding.

By avoiding comparisons, recognizing blessings, and fostering peace, you take tremendous steps toward a life of contentment.

“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).

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

 

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