Character Quality: Contentment

Many characterizations could be made of the average American, but discontent would have to be at the top of the list. Americans constantly chase more. More, bigger, better, faster. Most seek superlatives. It’s never enough. There is no satisfaction, no rest, no relaxation. The drive for another something or an extra something dominates our thoughts and actions. We are in pursuit of something we cannot attain, an appetite we cannot satiate.


Paul knew better. He had it all: pedigree, position, and power. Possessions often accompany such a person as well. Yet, he sought to destroy the very movement (Christianity) that offered what his soul longed for: contentment. Pursuing and destroying those who followed Christ caused him to persecute the church.

Yet after a dramatic confrontation on the Damascus Road and a subsequent conversion, Paul finally found contentment. After years of restless anger, he found rest for his soul. The good news of Jesus Christ completely changed Paul from a bitter and discontented man into a loving and gracious man.

In Philippians he wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” In other words, Paul says that contentment has nothing to do with our situation but with what we are trusting in.

Simply put, Paul found peace—aka contentment—in Christ. These words were written by a man who had been in prison, beaten, stoned, flogged, shipwrecked, and pursued by his enemies. Yet throughout the book of Philippians, Paul discusses joy. How it that possible? He did not look around at the world or its standards for happiness. Instead he looked up to Christ and found deep and abiding joy, which surpassed any circumstances.

Contentment can only be found in Christ. Not Christ ‘and’ or Christ ‘plus’, but just Christ. He is enough. Paul writes that He is the one who gives us strength in our circumstances. When we have Him the luster of the world, the glimmer of stuff, and the allure of more all lose their appeal. Nothing can compare. After reviewing his many accomplishments, in the book of Philippians Paul puts it this way, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”

There is an old hymn of my childhood that we don’t sing much anymore. It goes like this:

He is my everything,

He is my all,

He is my everything,

Both great and small.

He gave His live for me.

Made everything new.

He is my everything.

Now how about you?

Challenge: Let us pass on to our kids a pursuit of Him over pursuit of stuff. May we give our kids the gift of contentment this Christmas — not because we give them everything on their list, but because He gave His life on the cross and rose to live again. May we allow Him to be enough and rest in the satisfaction that only He can give.

{Simply click the image below to download your free coloring page.}

Character Quality: Contentment with free coloring page.


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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: December 20, 2013, by : Rachael Carman