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Living in Contentment

J. Stephen Lang


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The comic Will Rogers described advertising as "making people want what they don't need and paying for it with money they don't have." He understood a basic principle of advertising: Make the person discontent, make them feel their life would be better if they had product X. "My life would be fine if only I had . . ." What? A better job, a new car, more vacation time, bigger muscles, a new hair color?

In fact, this feeling didn't begin with the age of advertising. It's as old as humanity. The Bible writers were familiar with it. They were also familiar with an ageless truth: Nothing brings contentment except living within God's will.

A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away. Proverbs 14:30

For the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

It is better to be poor and godly than rich and dishonest. Proverbs 16:8

A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife. Proverbs 17:1

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength. Proverbs 17:22

Don't envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD. Proverbs 23:17

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 6:9

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. Philippians 4:11-13

True religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-7

The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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About The Author

J. Stephen

J. Stephen Lang is the author of more than ten books about the Bible, including the bestselling The Complete Book of Bible Trivia, 1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible but Never Thought to Ask, The Bible on the Big Screen, Everyday Biblical Literacy, and The Complete Book of Bible Promises. Lang is a regular contributor to Today's Christian, Discipleship Journal, Christian History and other periodicals. He lives in Seminole, Florida.