The author I was reading who defined emotions as a mental disturbance also gave a definition of contentment that I thought was good, within reason. In sharing this definition I really got some sidelong glances, the kind that says….. “are you a whacknut or something”….. I just take that in stride as we all think differently but his definition really made sense to me so here goes.
Contentment=Indifference. According to him, the author, this is the stoic definition of the word content! Now the offense comes to some because of the definition attached to indifference and in what ways we would apply that. Indifference can be said to be a lack of concern or having little importance and so we can’t, nor should we try, to apply that to every situation in our life, but in some ways I think we can.
Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”
I believe in context Paul was speaking of the opportunity that the Philippian believers were again given to lavish care on him and he rejoiced in the Lord that they responded the way that they did. He had learned to be content, in whatsoever state, rather abounding or abased. He had learned to be content with plenty or with nothing.
Indifference can be applied to money, for instance. If we desire to have more money than we do, are we content? If we want a bigger house or a better car are we content? If we are indifferent to more, to bigger or better would we be more apt to be thankful and content with what the Lord has given us.
In my life’s situation I have become indifferent, truly, to whether or not I can be in attendance at certain church functions, parties, a get together or whatever might be going on. I am content to stay at home where I am needed, and how thankful I am to God for that contentment!
I think part of the key is in the definition….‘having little importance’. As we journey along this path may the Lord teach us what is of importance and what isn’t, just as He taught the Apostle Paul. We are to be thankful in this life for all the Lord brings to us and thankfulness gives way to contentment!
1 Timothy 6: 6,7,8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.