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How Content Are You?

The Watered Soul: How Content Are You?

Nov 28, 2011

How Content Are You?

Am I really content? That’s the question that’s loitering in my head this morning as I rewind yesterday’s message in my mind. Can I really say as Paul said in Philippians 4: 11-13 that I have learned the secret of being content?

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned , in whatsoever state I am , therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased , and I know how to abound : every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need . 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)

11 And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. 12 I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. 13 I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. (GNT)


It would be easy to blast off a quick yes I’m happy with what I have but closer inspection of the word contentment is necessary. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, contentment is an internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances. The American Heritage Dictionary defines content has desiring no more than what has or satisfied; ready to accept or acquiesce; willing. 

In examining those two definitions, I can easily see that I don’t fully measure up to Paul’s declaration. I can think of situations I don’t readily accept. Nelson’s Illustrated Dictionary defines content as freedom from anxiety or worry.

The idea of of contentment comes from a Greek word that means “independence” or “self-sufficiency”. But the apostle Paul used the word in a Christian sense to show that real satisfaction or sufficiency comes from God:

Quite frankly there are some conditions I find myself in that I become irritated and anxiously await change to come.  So how does one be content yet expectantly wait for fulfillment of the promises?  Hmmm, a quick search of my blog archives reveal this has not been the first time I have pondered the question. In a post titled Satisfaction Guaranteed, I stated the following:

How can I be satisfied when I don't like what is occurring around me? Honestly, I haven't mastered the art of contentment. But in reading something the other day, I gained greater insight on contentment. When I know and trust that where I am is not outside of God's radar, I can be confident that He is orchestrating all things and that there is indeed a plan for my life. Therefore, I can patiently wait on Him.

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At November 28, 2011 at 8:42 AM , Blogger BLUEBUTTERFLY said...

I'm ponder too, Wanda. My big battle this year has been to be "truly" content, and I can honestly say that I am not there yet.

At November 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM , Blogger Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I immediately said Yes I am content...but you ponder it deeper which is food for thought...I will strive to keep content from day to day.

At November 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

With many changes God is making in my life, this is a wonderful reminder of being content...genuinely content. Thank you and blessings!


At November 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM , Anonymous Sharon - grief and loss said...

Great food for thought, Wanda! I can say that I am constantly aware and working on this, but don't always succeed!

At November 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM , Blogger Tracy said...

Hi Wanda - my mother-in-law reckons her gift is the gift of contentment and if you think about it, it is truly a gift, to be content in all things. Great post
God bless

At November 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I know I haven't mastered contentment. Too often I find myself wanting more. But I am reminded that God's grace is sufficient and more than enough. So I'm learning to count my blessings and wait on Him.

Many blessings, Wanda!

At November 28, 2011 at 4:32 PM , Blogger welcome to my world of poetry said...

I won't be fully content until my son and grandchildren are back in the fold again.


At November 28, 2011 at 5:59 PM , Blogger Wanda said...

I haven't mastered it either but reading Paul's words lets me know that it is possible to obtain contentment in this life. I do believe some people are gifted more with the ability to be content. May we each grab a hold to the secret.

At November 29, 2011 at 5:08 AM , Blogger Denise said...

Oh Wanda; great post! Can I say that I'm content in any circumstance; that I'm completely satisfied in any situation? I have always though that I am content, but this makes me think much deeper. When I stop depending on myself, and turn to God to get me through any situation, then I can have faith and be content that God is in control of everything, and that everything is for His own Holy purpose and my good will.

I will be pondering on this all day! :)

Blessings and hugs,

At November 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM , Blogger Ella said...

I have moments, but a lot of unsettled thoughts, too! Wow, this one I need to think about more~
Interesting post :D

At December 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM , Blogger Nungari M. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At December 4, 2011 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Peggy said...

Blessings Wanda,

This was probably the one I was suppose to read... and I'd love to ponder and dig into but I'm off to Spanish speaking church... content?
Hmmmmmmmmm ...guess I'm working on it in all circumstances but content for right now in who I am and who I am becoming in Christ Jesus! I'll have to soak in Philippians and your blog post another time.

Have a blessed SONday!


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