Last time I discussed the first and most important key in learning to be content—putting God first. Here are the rest of the…
7 Keys in Learning to be Content
Key #2 Get the Right Outlook
Develop an Eternal Perspective
If we want to be content, we need to look at our past, present, and future through eternal eyes—at the eternal good that God has done, is doing, and will do in and through you (Rom 8:28).
Therefore we do not lose heart…. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:16-18; see also Heb 12:2)
- Practice Delayed Gratification
Be satisfied with not having the best here on earth. Not a “settling for” but a “looking ahead” mentality which allows enjoyment in the present moment.
Delayed gratification for current satisfaction.
For example, I love to hike. However, I can’t now because of my back. Surgery is planned with the hope that I will be able to hike again. But if I can’t this side of heaven, I will choose to be satisfied that I can still walk!
Plus, I know that I will get a new and glorified body on the other side. Then I’ll be able to hike to my heart’s content!
- Lower Your Expectations of Self and Others
I use to be plagued with constant disappointment. My expectations of life were way too high and unrealistic. People will let you down; God never will. People cannot fulfill you, only God can (See Part 4 of this series).
- Remember We’re Not Fully Redeemed Yet
This side of heaven we will always feel like there’s something missing. That’s because we have not yet experienced all that God has for us. In heaven, that ache will go away.
Only then will we finally feel the completeness that we were created to enjoy. ~David Jeremiah
- Don’t Envy What Others Have
Comparing ourselves with other people’s lives only causes dissatisfaction. Besides, if you knew what heartaches they were experiencing behind closed doors, you wouldn’t envy them!
Key #3 Serve Others
When I first experienced debilitating back pain, I was frustrated because I couldn’t do what I wanted, nor what I felt God wanted me to do. While complaining, the Lord led me to Isaiah 58. Although not specifically referring to contentment, He helped me to see that if I would shift my focus unto other people’s needs instead of my own…
Then [my] light will break forth like the dawn…. The LORD will…satisfy [my] needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen [my] frame. [I] will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (vv 8, 11)
It worked! He’ll do the same for you!
Key #4 Intentionally look for ways to be grateful in all situations[link]
Key #5 Identify Your Specific Areas of Dissatisfaction
Since we are all different, the reason for our discontentedness will be unique to us. We each need to discover where and why we are unhappy. (free tool)
Key #6 Choose not to Rely on Feelings
When you begin to feel dissatisfied, choose not to complain. Choose to believe God’s Word and act in faith (2 Cor 5:7).
When those feelings of discontentedness arise, nip it in the bud right away. Try not to let it go full blown. It’s hard to leave a pity party in full swing. Ask God to help you here. He will!
Key #7 Commit to Apply
All the knowledge in the world is useless unless used specifically where we live.
We must choose to act on what we know and continue to apply God’s truths each day in order to remain contented.
My friend, I know this is not easy. Contentment is NOT automatic—even as a mature Christian. But it is available because Jesus said so! Let us help each other live in that truth.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (Jn 10:10 NKJV)
Blogs in this series:
How to Have a Contented and Grateful Heart in 2023
What is the True Meaning of Contentment
7 Reasons Why We Are Discontented
How to Satisfy Unmet Needs and Desires—God’s Way
The #1 Key in Learning to Be Content: Put God First
Having a Pity-Party? 10 Tips on How to Leave!
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Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
(NKJV) New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.