Contentment vs. Settling

Now more than ever, we need peace!

As we face the COVID-19 crisis, we are navigating unprecedented events and moments in our nation. As we look around us and see the suffering, it’s easy to be racked with fear, anxiety and the unsettling feeling of what’s next.

However, no matter what we’re up against, we have Jesus and with him, we have the answer! With Jesus we can have peace. He’s the anchor of our soul and the prince of peace. There’s nothing He can’t do and when we have Jesus, anything’s possible.
But what does contentment vs. settling have to do with peace?
Everything!
Contentment is the necessity for peace. Without it, the ache of our soul will always be searching, never satisfied and never fulfilled. Think about what the Bible says regarding contentment.
1 Timothy‬ ‭6:5-7‬ ‭says –
“These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.”
These are verses articulating Paul’s thoughts to Timothy. He’s giving warning of people who cause trouble through arguing and who think wealth is godliness.
He then drops a bomb by saying, “Godliness with contentment is great wealth.” One aspect of this wealth is peace. It’s the place of being content with who God is, who you are, where you are and what he’s doing in you. Think about that statement because it’s monumental for our lives and yet so hard to walk out.
Once again, the idea of wealth in itself is challenged and we see this play out over and over again.
Money, unbridled sex, things, possessions, status and more do not give peace. These are arbitrary and have no power in themselves. In fact, when these things rule our lives, the ache of our soul screams louder and louder for God. When we reach for the fickle to fulfill us, we will be ruled by the fickle. Which means we’ll be up and down from day to day blown like a leaf in the wind of life.
But this does not have to be our reality.
Paul said this in Philippians 4:13 –
“I can do all things through Christ who give a me strength.”
This verse is in direct correlation to being content with whatever we have in life. Paul learned it and no matter if he had a lot or a little, he was content and could do all things through Jesus.
For us today, we need contentment. This is where we have peace and this is where godliness grows in us.
Settling however is something totally different.
Settling does NOT give peace but rather it gives emptiness. Too many people settle on something because they give up and contentment challenged their patience and godliness.
So how can we decipher between contentment and settling?
Here are ten ways we can know the difference.
  1. Contentment brings peace – settling brings regret.
  2. Contentment makes us thankful – settling makes us unthankful.
  3. Contentment has us happy for others – settling causes jealousy toward others.
  4. Contentment reaches for more goals – settling gives up.
  5. Contentment makes us secure – settling makes us insecure.
  6. Contentment is Godly – settling is risky.
  7. Contentment remembers what God has done – settling forgets.
  8. Contentment says yes to God – settling says not right now or no to God.
  9. Contentment does not need anything else to be happy – settling always needs more to be happy.
  10. Contentment brings healing – settling brings pain.
Which one of these challenges you?
The key to this is Jesus! It’s letting him into our vulnerable places with his healing touch and here’s how.
Acknowledge which one of these speaks to you. Confess to God. Then, confess it to a trusted friend. Pray privately about it and then have your friend pray with you and keep you accountable. Nothing can change until we have accountability to live a different way.
I’m doing this in my life and I know I’m better when I’m content. How about you?
So many times moments in our lives are missed because we’re settling. We’re letting disappointment, timing, frustration and more dictate what we do or don’t do. Settling screams easy while contentment whispers peace. Settling says, have it right now while contentment says, peace.
Where are you at today?
Do you have contentment with where God has you? Do you have peace in the middle of this chaos?
Contentment does NOT mean all your goals are fulfilled and that you’ve accomplished everything you want to. It means you’re good with who God is, who you are, where you are and what he’s doing in you. This statement reflects an ongoing process to a competed life of purpose in Jesus!
I encourage you to live content! Let Jesus be enough!
Life is too short to settle. God has more for you. God has something great for you. God has contentment for you.
Have a great week and the best is yet to come,
PD


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