Be Content, Not Complacent
Contentment is a spiritual state. Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4: “I’ve learned to be content.” Being content in whom, what, and where we are is critical. Being content on the inside is a spiritual state, and not an excuse to be complacent or lazy. We should always be hungering for more of what God has for us. We are to be content but not satisfied. There should be a divine dissatisfaction, a holy hunger, a sacred ambition that is driving us to be the best we can for God’s glory.
Let me show you the difference between two different characters in the Bible. The first one, Agur, is talked about in Proverbs 31. Written in Proverbs 31:1: “The sayings of Agur, the son of Jacob, contains this message ‘I am weary Oh God. I am weary and worn out Oh God.’” This is how he is introduced to us in the Bible. He’s worn out, tired, and burnt out. Then he says in verses 7-9, “Oh God, I beg two favors from you. Let me have them before I die. First, help me to never tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches. Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say who is the Lord. And if I’m too poor I may still ask who is the Lord.” There is a section in that scripture where he asked for just enough to satisfy his needs. That is being complacent, not content. We shouldn’t ask God to bless us just enough for this kind of mentality. We have a moral and spiritual obligation to be a blessing to others. God wants to bless you so that His blessings are overflowing in your life and you can be a blessing to others. In the Old Testament, God mandated that his people would create wealth and a service or product that would benefit others, and God would bless them if they did this in a way that honored him. We should be content. Paul said, “Whatever state I’m in I’ve learned to be content” but not complacent and never satisfied. There’s a difference between contentment and satisfaction.
Now the other guy in the Bible, Jabez, said in 1 Chronicles 4:10, “Oh that you would bless me and expand my territory, Please, be with me in all that I do. Keep me from all trouble and pain.” It said in the Bible that God granted his request. So while Agur was praying to get just enough to satisfy his needs, Jabez wanted God to bless him and expand his boundaries. I hope it is your outlook on life that God wants to bless you. He wants to expand your influence and expand your territory. You need to be content, but never become complacent. Never allow your contentment to be your excuse for laziness. We should always be striving to be more and do more for God’s glory, not because we are trying to earn anything – that is the wrong motive.
We should strive to do our best and be our best. For example, if contentment is your inner life, satisfaction is your outer life.
Here are some examples:
- I’m content with my current health, but I’m not satisfied because I could probably lose 10-15 pounds.
- I’m content with my marriage. I have a loving and committed marriage to my wife Gloria of 27 years, but I’m not satisfied. There’s a greater level of commitment and intimacy that my wife and I can continue to grow and enjoy with each other. We are content, yes, but not satisfied.
- I’m content with a church of several thousand, but I’m not satisfied until every un-churched person in our community is in a good church and is growing in their faith.
So, you can be content but not satisfied. I hope you are content with your life right now, but you shouldn’t be satisfied because, like Jabez, God always has more for us all.
Have a great week!