The Journey of Contentment
A devotional by Angela Anderson
“...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
–Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
In today’s society, some may find it difficult to be content. With smart phones that grant immediate access to social media, television with countless commercials, and magazines overflowing with ads … there is always that looming pressure to keep up with the Joneses.
Someone is always more attractive or something is always more new and more improved. Even the things that we do not need or even care about somehow become a desire. The wishlist grows longer and longer over time with useless items that usually cost more than we would like to spend. It’s almost as though we are trying to fill a void, reach a level of status, or make ourselves feel better about life. I suppose that is why I entitled this devotional “The Journey of Contentment.” To be content is to be happy, at peace, or satisfied with the status quo. This type of behavior is learned and it takes practice to master contentment.
In the first book of Timothy 6:6-10, the Apostle Paul imparts words of wisdom regarding contentment. To paraphrase, he proclaims that serving God and doing what is right will make a person rich because it will result in contentment. He further counsels that we should be thankful and content with whatever we have. It is always good practice to recognize the blessing in what we have instead of getting caught up with satisfying foolish desires.
It is important to note that there is nothing wrong with desiring things or wanting to be better. The detriment is only when this is our primary concern. However, contentment is forward- focused. It looks into the future with hope for a brighter day. Contentment is fluid and should not be confused with complacency which is stagnant. Contentment comes with the understanding that the status quo is just a phase and you are passing through it. Complacency on the other hand is a lax attitude of just staying where you are without any effort or desire to move forward. I do not believe that God wants us to be complacent in our lives. We should be constantly striving toward excellence and becoming the best version of ourselves. God created us to be great. Contentment is finding that spiritual maturity and learning more about God as you navigate through different experiences in your life.
The Apostle Paul explains this the best in Philippians 4:11-13. He further explains that he has learned to be content in any circumstance that life brings his way. Moreover, he has experienced living on both ends of the spectrum: extreme need and having more than enough. He claims that he learned the secret of being happy wherever he is, whether he has little or much. He then boasts that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That is the key to contentment. No matter the circumstance, Jesus Christ will give you the strength to make it. Always remember that God will provide all of your needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).
Let’s Pray: Dear God, Thank you for being a God of provision. May we grow in Your love and develop a better understanding of what it means to be content. Remind us that we can do all things only because You give us the strength to do it. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a Christian home in New Jersey. Angela dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 12.
As a child in elementary school, she developed a penchant for writing book reports and entering writing contests. By high school, she was taking advanced placement courses in English and Speech & Creative Writing. Angela’s love for journaling also had its beginnings in high school and it evolved into prayers journals and detailed notes for prospective book ideas. As a result, Angela is the author of a published 40-day devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God. She also wrote a children’s book that is not yet published.
Although Angela wanted to somehow incorporate writing in her life, she is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional. Angela graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a double bachelor’s degree in Labor/Employment Relations & Sociology. She also has an MBA from Strayer University.
Angela founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization called Head to the Sky, Inc. It was formed in order to assist those in prison with their transition into society and to reduce the rate of recidivism in the community. During this venture, Angela received a certification in grant writing from The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. Angela was very passionate about teaching, training, and sharing the love of Christ in this ministry; but she had to refocus her passion when she and her husband decided to start their family.
Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 16 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 8) and Ryan (age 3). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.
Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God: