Choosing Contentment

Philippians 3:13

But I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. – Philippians 3:13

Life is lived here and now. Often we already have what we need, yet we look right past it hoping for something else to come our way.

If I only had more money…

If I could own a house…

If I only had a bigger house, a better job, a nicer car…

If, if, if…

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell

Our wonderful country has afforded many of us exceptional opportunities to achieve and acquire many things. Yet we constantly hear stories of people who are extremely accomplished professionally and have vast riches or opportunities but are still incredibly unhappy. How can that be?

A common misconception among humanity is that riches will bring happiness.

It’s only a two-letter word, but that little word – if – stalls our growth and holds us back. When we “if” our lives away, we are giving away our power.

We create a reason, an excuse, for why we aren’t happy, fulfilled, and enriched by what we have today (and we have so much compared to most of the world). When King Solomon played this very game, he acquired everything under the sun and finally concluded that all of it “was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind” – Ecclesiastes 2:11. What could be less fulfilling than wind?

Countless individuals faithfully spend part of their paychecks each week trying to win the lottery. They’re looking for that ticket that will provide for a totally carefree, happy life. Yet how many times do these big lottery winners appear in the local paper a year or two later saying how they lost their house, their spouse, and their friends and that their life was ruined by that “win”? “If only I hadn’t won the lottery!”

When we have an iffy perspective on life, we choose to ride down a road filled with stop signs rather than enjoying our present. You are stopped and can’t move forward when “if only” starts your day.

Choose to start living in the present, embracing a spirit of gratitude, and you will suddenly realize that the signs around you are all proclaiming, “Go!”

True contentment is a real, even an active, virtue – not only affirmative but creative. It is the power of getting out of any situation all there is in it. – G. K. Chesterton

God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. – Saint Augustine

Your Turn

Who and what are you most grateful for in your life? Read Ecclesiastes 5. If money can’t buy fulfillment, where can it be found? What have you accomplished or what have you attained that you never imagined you’d have or achieve? Who can you thank for these things? Are you missing out on enjoying what’s happening in the present by living with an If Only mentality – wishing that something or someone else would come your way? Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

David Zerfoss

A leader with an innate talent to touch, move, and inspire others, David Zerfoss lives his purpose of "empowering others to create powerful futures." He leads the Zerfoss Group, which consults with think tanks, major corporations, and entrepreneurs. As an executive-in-residence at Queens University McColl School of Business in Charlotte, North Carolina, he enjoys sharing transformational thinking and leadership insights with aspiring MBA and executive MBA students.

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