benjamin-franklin-on-contentment-and-wealth2

Benjamin Franklin once said, “being content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” Discontentment is described in the dictionary as not content; dissatisfied, with a restless desire or craving for something one does not have. Being discontented usually leads to being disgruntled, which sounds exactly like what it is – dissatisfied, with grunting and grumbling. Disgruntled actually comes from “gruntle”, an old verb meaning, “to grunt”.

When we examine our lives and attitudes how much time and energy do we spend discontented and disgruntled? How often do we grumble and grunt throughout the day? If we were honest many of us would say far too much, far too often.

However God never planned for us to spend our days grumbly and grunting around the place. Actually Jesus said, “I have come to give you life abundant, where you know peace that surpasses understanding regardless of your circumstances (John 10:10; Philippians 4).

Perhaps some of our discontent is because we are too impatient, lacking in faith, and always wanting what we do not yet have. We forget in our discontent that God loves us and wants the very best for us. As a result we seek to take control; striving to make things happen ourselves, which often only leads to bad choices, hasty decisions, and living beyond our means.

A key however to living a contented life is found in Philippians 4:11-13 when Paul states that he was able to live happily within whatever situation he found himself. In essence some of what he said is that, “I make adjustments as needed and live beneath God’s provision level – whatever it may be. I build some margin between my spending and God’s provision, and that margin leads to contentment, which leads to peace.

I have learnt that God always provides; even when “stuff” happens such as job changes, the economic climate, our good and bad decisions, and the choices others make that affect us. If we put our life and future in God’s hands He will provide; He will support and help us; even if he has to multiply food in the cupboard, send others into our life to encourage us, or speak to someone else to give a helping hand when we need it most. But it is our responsibility to be listening and be obedient to God, and in how He is directing us so that if necessary we can make adjustments. At times that may mean we need to simplify our life, our lifestyle, spending and demands, as we diligently pray, work and seek to free ourselves from whatever debt we may carry, or work through any other issues in our lives.

God is always busy looking for ways to bless us and to grant us the desires of our hearts. One of the tasks the angels have is to set up divine opportunities and meetings so as to position us where we need to be. But a lot of the time we can miss or delay things because we are too busy grumbling and complaining, failing to trust in God’s goodness towards us.

Let’s learn to be contented regardless of our circumstances as we trust God and choose to learn to live joyfully within His provision in every season. Wisdom teaches us to be content with what we have, and to build, pray and believe diligently and patiently for any increase and breakthrough.

Today spend some time renewing your thinking and attitudes by discovering what God says in His word about your future and the plans He has for you. Remember that God loves you more than you will ever know. He sees you and His heart is to give to you, so that you will know peace and true contentment all the days of your life.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do; and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Prayer: Lord thank you that no matter my circumstances I can trust in you. Help me to make wise choices, to live within my circumstances, as I trust in you to provide and bless me in every season of my life. In Jesus name Amen.