Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Contentment: Good For the Soul and Evidence of Trust

Last night I was blessed to hear a fantastic talk about contentment by a dear friend, mentor, and sister in Christ. Mary Tomlinson, speaker, consultant, and president of On-Purpose Partners, reminded us of five pillars of contentment*:

(1) Devoting time with family and friends
(2) Appreciating what we have
(3) Cultivating optimism
(4) Feeling a sense of purpose
(5) Living in the moment

She reminded us that abundant living is about relationships rather than things or accomplishments. She encouraged us to practice gratitude daily, learning to count our blessings rather than our struggles. And she shared that we will grow in contentment as we learn to trust God.

Here are a few verses on contentment that are worth pondering:

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:6)

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Written by the apostle Paul from prison, Philippians 4:12,13)

If Paul learned to be content whether he was free or behind bars, there is hope for all of us! If we derive all strength from our fragile souls, we are doomed. But if we seek and rely on God as our rock, we will discover His sufficiency, sovereignty, and faithfulness. His love endures forever. As we know God more, we learn that we can trust Him, and we experience a peace that helps us stand in overwhelming circumstances.

As we learn to trust our Creator we discover the joy of contentment. Although we may not have arrived there fully, once we experience this exchange, the relationship helps us to trust again during the next challenge.

May we all learn, like Paul, to trust God in every circumstance and live for Him.

Trusting Him and, thus, content,
Dr Mari

For more ways to grow in contentment, read Living in the Moment. To find out more about Mary Tomlinson and her work to help individuals and organizations identify and pursue their purpose, visit

* From the Mayo Clinic's How to be Happy: Tips for Cultivating Contentment.


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