Contentment is independence from material goods; being satisfied and grateful for what we have, not seeking to obtain excessive material goods (like that sporty new car or oversized new house). Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. (often seen on the Dr. Oz show) shown in the video clip below, says this about contentment:
“Contentment is an inner feeling of satisfaction that’s really not dependent on external factors.”
Check out what Dr. Weil has to say regarding contentment:
So what would make you content in your inner life? For me it is the strength of my faith, the hope of my salvation in Christ Jesus, and the love of God, my husband, family and friends. Faith – Hope – Love – It is the virtues that give me contentment. It is the precious intangibles that money cannot buy that bring me contentment.
The Lord warns us not to get all caught up with the material goods of this world. In the first letter from Saint John, He states:
“Do not love the world or the things of the world…For all that is in the world…is not from the Father but is of the world. Yet the world and its enticements are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
I have chosen to do the will of God with my life. Now, I have to admit that I am very content with the current home in which my husband and I live; so content, that I had to come to grips with the fact that maybe my desire to grow old in this current house may not be God’s will. He may have work for me to do that causes my husband and I to move. I have made a conscious choice to put His will first, even if that means giving up my really cool, one level (already handicapped accessible) all brick, maintenance free home that is a great place to grow old in!
What excessive material goods are present in your life that may require a mental readjustment on your part to put God first over the possessions? Once you have identified those items, how do you go about embracing the virtue of contentment? We’ll answer that question in our next reflection on the virtue of contentment. Don’t miss it!