Return to blog
Young woman standing in snowy forest

A Lesson in Contentment: How to Live With Less in a Selfish World

Posted by Samantha DePeel

January 31, 2023

From the moment we wake up in the morning to the end of a long, long day, we're bombarded with messaging that our lives are not enough. Consider the ads you see on your phone or television, or even the items you pass by in the store. It seems like everything around us is saying, "Your life is not enough. You need this to make you truly happy." It takes a lot of effort to resist these voices and stand firm in our contentment through Christ.

Let's face it, life with lots and lots of stuff can be downright exhausting. Statistically speaking, we have more than we ever have, and we're still so anxious and stressed. Perhaps the cure for this overwhelm can't be found in acquiring more, but actually, being happy with less. Perhaps Paul was right when He said,

"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.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'"

Throughout Jesus' ministry, there seems to be this element of minimalism that we can't help but be drawn to. Jesus often discusses the temptation of money and material things, and to instead focus on what really matters—growing our faith and sharing the Gospel with those around us. That's what today's blog post is all about being content with Christ alone. It's not easy, but there are small steps we can take in our daily lives to make this possible.

Woman carrying Christmas tree through the snow

An Invitation to Live Simply

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  ~ Matthew 6:19-21 

When you think about it, nothing that we acquire really lasts. Not the fancy tech we own or even the money we save. The only thing that has staying power is our faith in Christ—what happens in our heart. This is the only thing we take from this world when we depart. In the passage above from Matthew 6, Jesus encourages us to put our energy and love into something that doesn't fade. 

Snowy mountain landscape

Narrow Your Focus

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." ~ Matthew 6:33

There's a real temptation to attach ourselves to material things, instead of the God who created them. This obsession doesn't happen overnight; it's built over time. That's why our daily habits, no matter how small, matter. For instance, scrolling on your phone for a good portion of the day, can affect how you think about the world, and can drive that desire to acquire more and more and more things. 

Just like that Mary Oliver quote says, "Attention is the beginning of devotion." It's so true, right? Our heart is where our treasure is. That's why I encourage you to narrow your focus and simplify your digital life. I say this as someone who is continuing to learn how to be more mindful with my attention.

For instance, instead of having multiple social media accounts that tempt you to scroll (and impulse buy!) mindlessly, perhaps narrow it down to one. Designate specific times of your day for phone time or set screen time limits. Whatever this looks like for you, I encourage you to be diligent. 

Woman walking in the snow with her dog on a sunny day

Adopt a Servant's Heart

"Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." ~ Philippians 2:7

At His core, Jesus was servant-minded. He always was focused on other's needs and was so attuned to how other's were feeling and experiencing life. When we're selfish and only focus on what we want, we're denying Christ. We're closing ourselves off to what our beloved brothers and sisters need. Perhaps this is one of the greatest reasons why Jesus is so averse to materialism and wealth as we know it. 

Jesus' ministry is only made possible if we surrender fully to His will. It's not about what we want, it's about Jesus transforming the hearts and minds of our neighbors, that they may be saved. One of the greatest antidotes to this problem of greed and distraction is service and contentment. Think of what the body of Christ could accomplish if we focused on the collective betterment of society, instead of surrounding ourselves with what makes us feel good.

Snowy mountain forest in the clouds

Gratitude for the Little Things

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Being content with your life and all God has done for you is no small feat these days. Our world is constantly putting on the pressure to buy more, have more, dream of more. What if we simply acknowledged that we already have enough? We have more than enough through Christ's sacrifice, through His love and promises.

If you're looking to resist the pull of the world, look inward and seek contentment. Be grateful for the possessions you do own. Find joy in the little moments in the day, like a warm cup of coffee or a soft morning sunrise. There is so much joy and purpose to be found if we only pay attention.

Bring Jesus to the Forefront

Pray On It short-sleeved Christian women's t-shirt

If you're familiar with our brand, you know the heart behind the apparel we create. We're big believers in crafting with intention, and that's why we focus on Christian apparel and accessories. We wanted to bring the good news of the Gospel to the forefront of your day. Why not wear a stylish reminder of great our God is?

Shop Our Christian Tees