What is contentment?

Contentment is a state of being satisfied and fulfilled with what one has in their life at a particular moment. It’s a feeling of inner peace and happiness that comes from being happy with one’s present circumstances, rather than constantly striving for more.

Contentment is often associated with gratitude, as it involves recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of one’s life and feeling a sense of fulfillment from them. It’s not about ignoring or denying one’s desires or ambitions, but rather finding joy in the present moment while still working towards future goals.

Contentment can be cultivated through practicing gratitude. It’s a valuable state of being that can lead to greater happiness and well-being, even in challenging circumstances.

If you wondering why you are not content, it could be because you are searching for the meaning of life in the wrong things. It looks like this:

  • A new car will make me happy
  • Losing weight will make me happy
  • Watching this show will be enjoyable
  • Having an adult beverage will make me feel better
  • A relationship will make me happy
  • Shopping will make me happy
  • Plastic surgery/botox/fillers/fake lashes will make me happy
  • When I make this amount then I will be happy
  • This job will make me happy
  • A new house or remodel will make me happy

You get the picture….I’ve had all of those thoughts above in my life and they never satisfied the longing in my soul. When we get those things mentioned above…our expectations are not met or they are met and the happy feeling is so fleeting we spend our lives trying to recapture that feeling again in something that doesn’t last and was never meant to satisfy the longings in our soul. In my experience, addiction stems from trying to recapture a feeling over and over again and trying to make that dopamine last. Look at all the unhappy celebrities out there. They have everything people are trying to achieve.

I like to think of Solomon…the wisest and richest person in the Bible. He had like 700 concubines, a vineyard, a mansion and also wrote the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. God gave his servant Solomon this wisdom to pass along to us.

Solomon says, “No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. I observed everything going on under the sun; it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. (Ecc 1:8; 1:14). I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. 2 So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” 3 After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.”

Contentment is what we all search for in our longings for comfort. I never thought I could find contentment in sobriety. It’s not just about not drinking, but rather finding life in the little things fueled by faith. Faith is the fuel to keep the sober engine going.

Without faith I can’t imagine how I would handle life on life’s terms. There are still situations where drinking sounds like a good idea, but I know now not to follow the instructions of my feelings.

Feels are a gauge not a guide. My feelings do help notify me when the check engine light of my heart is on and if I ignore it for too long then a breakdown will happen down the road. The feelings that indicate a check engine light for me are feeling uneasy (anxious), moments of depression, trying to grasp for worth in other things rather than focusing on where God is trying to direct me. For me that can look like focusing more on my to-do list first thing in the morning than spending time with God. I think contentment is a learned response. We have to learn how to be content and ask God for His help.