Everyone thinks they need a little bit more—that includes the people who make a lot more than you and the people who make a lot less than you and the people who make the same amount as you. There's something about being American that clashes with the idea of contentment. Over 400 years ago Martin Luther said, "Next to faith, this is the highest art: to be content in the calling in which God has placed you. I have not learned it yet."
There's something about us: We're just wired to want more. I know many people who have a pretty good spouse— they're faithful and kind and attentive and affectionate, but they're still not satisfied, because their spouse isn't thin enough or rich enough or funny enough or home enough — they just can't be content in their marriage. The writer of Hebrews mentions these two subjects (money and marriage) specifically when he talks about contentment. “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’” (Hebrews 13:4-5)
The Apostle Paul also talked about contentment as well. “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 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 through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
“I can do everything.” This should be our attitude: I can handle this. I don't have all the resources I want right now, but I can handle it. Not everything is going my way right now, but I can handle it. My marriage is going through a difficult season, but I can handle it. The economy is wreaking havoc on me financially, but I can handle it. My health isn't as good as it ought to be, but I can handle it. I'm not as successful as I want to be, but I can handle it. Why can I handle it? Because Jesus Christ gives me the power to face any and every situation that comes my way, and I can handle anything through Christ who gives me strength.
Someone once said, "You'll never know God is all you need, until you come to a place where God is all you have." The truth is we experience lack in our lives from time to time. And the solution is not that you need more money, or you need a bigger house, or you need another spouse. The solution is that you need to learn to find contentment in Jesus Christ alone. The solution is that you learn to say, "I can handle anything through Christ who gives me strength." Or as in the words of the writer of Hebrews; “We can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6)
That's what it means to practice contentment, to know that God is all you need. Even when there is lack in your life, God is all you need. Begin today to incorporate contentment into your existence.