Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25
There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment.~Sivananda
Sivananda was a Hindu spiritual leader that was a healer and formed his own type of Yoga that is practiced today. I am not agreeing with the Hindu religion by using this quote, but I will say that Hindu’s in general put Christians to shame with how they practice the fine art of peace and contentment. Even a Yoga master has understood that contentment is the way to be and that worry is what makes stress and unhappiness happen. I will still contend that there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is craving satisfaction, where joy is just being satisfied with what you have already acquired; contentment in its purist form. What are some ways to find contentment from worries and find peace?
As the Proverb above says, an encouraging word cheers a person up. The first way we find contentment is to encourage. Life-giving words are always the best way to find fulfillment, by encouraging someone. Even though we may be going through some major crisis in our life, if we focus ourselves on others we will find the peace in the midst of the storm. This is not just something you do on your own; you have to use the faith you have in Christ to walk on the stormy sea. Peter sank because he looked around at his circumstances and realized he was walking on the stormy see. He took his focus away from Jesus and started to sink. Choice is stepping out in faith, doing, and trusting Jesus to do the impossible part and sometimes that may be our attitude. Encouraging others and ourselves is the first way we can find the joy that contentment brings.
Someone once said that he who has the most toys wins. I used to live that way and had that very attitude. I was very materialistic and found myself into some major debt trying to keep up with Mr. Jones. Half the fun was attaining the new item and the other half was using it, for a while. Then the phenomena of diminishing interest would happen. That happens when you see the new bigger and better item that they just came out with that you categorically have to have. The point here is to be content with what you have, it may not be the best, but God will provide better when the time is right. Running out and buying something just because it’s cooler than what you have and everyone else has one is, a prescription for stress and uneasiness. Peace comes with patience and making the change at God’s timing, not yours.
Another way to keep worry at bay is to build your faith up. Fear is worry’s best friend. After all, fear is what causes worry. We fear for the future that has not happened yet, but we see so clearly the bleakness of it. Worry kind of is like playing God. We have in our minds a determined future that may seem bleak, but in reality when the future becomes, it may not be as bad as we had put in our minds for it to be. Usually it doesn’t even come close. Worry is when we allow ourselves to sit on the throne of our lives and not God. We think we are in control when the truth is that we are out of control. Building our faith by focusing on the word, helping others, praying, doing good, just loving people will build the faith we need to help us stay away from worry.
Worry and fear keep us from contentment. Focusing yourself on encouragement, being patient, and building your faith will get you on the road to the purest form of contentment and that is joy.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.