By the standards of many people today, contentment comes from accumulating possessions and in increasing the amount of wealth that we have. To many, things like power and success pave the way to contentment. Yet in this world we can observe poor people who are laughing, singing and enjoying life, while wealthy and powerful people seem to be dissatisfied no matter how much they have or where they are. What is the difference? Where does contentment come from?
Paul wrote that he learned to be content in whatever state he was (Philippians 4:11 Philippians 4:11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
American King James Version×). Contentment does not come from getting more and more—because the eye is never content with how much it sees (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 10 And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
American King James Version×). Contentment is a state of mind that will fit any circumstance we find ourselves in. We can be content with much or with little—if we diminish our wants and change our focus to be on the spiritual more than on the physical. Being rich in the things of the world and poor in the things of God is one great cause of discontentment. Being rich in the things of God is where lasting contentment lies.