I read an anonymous quote today that I really liked: “Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.” I think that is so true. A person can have a lot, but if they always want more they will not be happy. Conversely, a person may have very little, but if they are content with what they have they will be happy.
I remember one time I was watching a show on Home and Garden TV, and they were showing a big, new kitchen that had just been remodeled. Just as I was thinking to myself how I wished I had that kitchen instead of my little, old kitchen, and feeling very bad indeed, my son (about 8 at the time) piped up: “Our kitchen is better than that kitchen because it is cozy and has love in it.” Kids can be so wise at times.
I now have a bigger, newer kitchen, and I am quite content with it. But before we remodeled and I got that new kitchen, I had become more content with the one I had. Though I must admit I did have days when I was not content with it and complained about some aspect or another. On those days, I did not feel very happy.
But how does one come to have a life of true contentment? Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” When this passage refers to the “fear” of the Lord, it is not referring to being scared of God. Rather, it means to have an appropriate measure of reverence and awe for God. When I am in awe of God, of what He has done and who He is, then I put my own life in perspective. It makes me feel grateful for all that I have, content that I have been blessed with more than I deserve.
Things and money cannot buy happiness. If we focus on what we have, or worse on what we don’t yet have, we will be miserable. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5.
As long as I have God, I will be content.