Summary: Contentment is an elusive but necessary quality for the Christian.

Philippians 4:11-13 KJV 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.


A. My Own Experience

I felt wonderful. . .

-Suddenly and out of nowhere I had fallen headlong into a death trap of sins—discontentment, murmuring, complaining, and soul-draining envy had me in their clutches.

-Now whether you want to categorize those things as sin or not, you have the choice. But the more you study the Bible, the more you realize that all of those things are really missing the mark for God’s high and holy calling.

-This is one of the back doors that the devil often sneaks into and catches us blindly and chokes the gratitude out of our life.

B. Society and Contentment

-This is the premise that our whole society is based on.

• The car you drive is just fine—except it doesn’t have a GPS screen in the stereo system, it doesn’t have a camera to help you back up, it doesn’t have comfort controls for all passengers, it doesn’t have. . .

• The computer you have is just fine—except it doesn’t have a single mouse click device, it doesn’t have a high-def monitor, it doesn’t work at warp speed, it doesn’t have. . .

• The home you live in is just fine—except it doesn’t have a pool in the back yard, it isn’t located on High King Way, it doesn’t have a yard boy, it doesn’t have. . .

• The place you work is just fine—except it doesn’t have matching funds for the 401K, it doesn’t have free lunch opportunities, it doesn’t have a family atmosphere, it doesn’t have. . .

• The spouse you have is just fine—except they are too heavy, too loud, don’t do enough of this and too much of that, don’t have a lot of money, don’t have. . .

-That cycle becomes deadly for us to try to live in. Yet our society runs on this sort of concept that always has to make us feel as if we are missing out on life if we don’t have the latest and the greatest.

• You need a new widget!

• You need a new doodad!

• You need a new gizmo!

-It is difficult to live in this kind of gripping discontent when our society cannot understand the difference between wants and needs. The devil will take advantage of us if we are not careful in our pursuits of so-called happiness.

-Discontentment is the “If Only” disease:

If only I had more money.

If only I could make better grades.

If only we owned a nicer home.

If only we hadn’t made that bad investment.

If only I hadn’t come from such a bad background.

If only she would have stayed married to me.

If only our pastor were a stronger preacher.

If only my child were able to walk.

If only we could have children.

If only we didn’t have children.

If only the business could have succeeded.

If only my husband hadn’t died so young.

If only I would’ve said “No” to drugs.

If only they had given me a break.

If only I hadn’t had that accident.

If only we could get back on our feet.

If only he would ask me out.

If only people would accept me as I am.

If only my folks hadn’t divorced.

If only I had more friends.

If only. . .

-That kind of mentality will destroy you both physically and spiritually.

C. On Discontentment

Thomas Watson—Discontent is a fretting humor which dries the brain, wastes the spirit, and corrodes and eats out the comfort of life. Discontent makes a man so that he does not enjoy what he possesses. A drop or two of vinegar will sour a whole glass of wine. Let a man have the affluence and confluence of worldly comforts, yet a drop or two of discontent will embitter and poison all.

J. F. Clarke—The root of all discontent is self-love.

Benjamin Franklin—The more self is indulged the more it demands, and, therefore, of all men the selfish are the most discontented.

Feltham—Discontent is like ink poured into water, which fills the whole fountain full of blackness. It casts a cloud over the mind, and renders it more occupied about the evil which disquiets than about the means of removing it.

-Discontentment will take you to places that you would never want to go to.

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