Learning to be Content Part 6: Two More Keys in How

Last time I discussed the number one key in how to be content—God first. Next in line is having the correct perspective.

Key #2 Get the Right Outlook

I’ve talked about this in part 2 of our series in having the right definition of contentment, but here are the specific areas in which to have the right perspective.

  • Develop an Eternal Perspective

Look at your past, present, and future through eternal eyes. Count your blessings. Name them—literally—one by one. Write them down. Praise God for what He has done, is doing, and will do in your earthly and heavenly future.

God’s not asking you to thank Him for any sin done to you or by you, but for what He will do through it!

  • Develop a Delayed Gratification Mindset

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.

As a personal example, I would love to hike to the top of Mount Le Conte in the Smokies; stay the night in a cabin, and watch the sun set and rise. To see the stars from that peak would be breathtaking! However, I need to be realistic. It’s near impossible to reserve a cabin space and this older body probably couldn’t make the climb. Nevertheless, I can enjoy hiking many other trails. I will choose to be satisfied with where I can hike and the fact that I still can!

Keep striving for the ideal—yes. But be happy enough with what you can have, with what you can do. The best is yet to come; this is not all there is. Accept this fact and you’ll make great strides in being satisfied with the present.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Cor 2:9)

  • Decrease Your Expectations of Self and Others, but Increase Your Expectations of God

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. You can trust God to come through to meet all your needs and desires in the best possible way.   

  • Don’t Envy What Others Have

So often we’re in comparison mode, viewing others only on outward appearances; looking at all the social media pictures of the ideal family, home, success, etc. However, you have no idea of the heartache someone is dealing with behind closed doors—despite exterior portrayals.

That leads to the next key…

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. (verses 8, 11) 

It worked! He’ll do the same for you!

Next time our discussion will be a little bit more centered on you as we get down to practical solutions for you. Plus there’ll be a freebie to help you! 

Until then keep the right perspective and focus! 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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