“Content[ment] makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”—Benjamin Franklin.
TRUE to that proverb, many have learned that contentment cannot be bought like merchandise. No wonder that contentment—an inward feeling of satisfaction—seems elusive in a world that fosters a desire for more possessions, greater achievements, or the life enjoyed by others! Have any of the following affected you?
• Advertisers bombard you with the message that contentment is only one more purchase away.
• Competition at work or at school encourages you to measure your worth against what others are able to do.
• People lack appreciation for what you do for them.
• Friends make you envious of what they have.
• Your fundamental questions about life go unanswered.
Faced with such challenges, is it really possible to be content? The apostle Paul referred to “the secret of being content.” At times, he had lived with plenty and at other times, with little. He was admired by his friends but mocked by others. Yet, he said that he had “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”—Italics ours; Philippians 4:11, 12, New International Version.
Contentment is a secret to those who have never taken steps to attain it, but as Paul stated, it can be learned.