A dear friend and I are going to be studying a book about contentment called, “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. We’re planning on meeting once a week to discuss what we’ve read, to prayer with each other, to encourage each other and to hold each other accountable in areas where we are struggling.
I thought before I would start the book that I would look up the word content to understanding the meaning. Here’s what I found:
1. happy enough with what one has or is: not desiring something more or different; satisfied.
An interesting definition was this: willing–used in the British House of Lords as an affirmative vote.
I suppose we could vote “affirmative” to what we have as a sign that we are satisfied with it.
The above definitions are from the Webster’s New World Dictionary (1951). Here’s the definition from Webster’s 1828:
CONTENT, a. [L., to be held; to hold.] Literally, held, contained within limits; hence, quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to repine, object, or oppose.
Content with science in the vale of peace.
Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6.
1. To satisfy the mind; to make quiet, so as to stop complaint or opposition; to appease; to make easy in any situation; used chiefly with the reciprocal pronoun.
Do not content yourselves with obscure and confused ideas, where clearer are to be obtained.
Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas. Mark 15.
2. To please or gratify.
It doth much content me, to hear him so inclined.
1. Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.
A wise content his even soul securd; By want not shaken, nor by wealth allurd.
2. Acquiescence; satisfaction without examination.
The style is excellent; the sense they humbly take upon content.
3. The term used in the House of Lords in England, to express an assent to a bill or motion.
Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition. Well, that really puts it into focus, doesn’t it? Satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint. Can I say I am doing this?????
Last Sunday our teaching elder, Rich, spoke on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18. When he got to verse 16, “Rejoice Always”, he said:
there are no exceptions
it is a command
and it is always applicable
it’s a continual state of joyful happiness (trust and confidence in God)
I think being joyful and content go hand in hand. Rich asked the question of how do we remain joyful. I think his answer would be the same to the question of how do we remain content: by not focusing on our circumstances but focusing on God and His savlation.
I pray that I will learn to be joyful and content in the midst of all the circumstances of my life!