What brings us satisfaction and contentment? Is there a way to live an everyday life of satisfaction and contentment? What do we do when our days do not develop the way we want?
Everyone wants to be happy, content and satisfied. When we lack the satisfaction and joy of life, we feel empty, existing but not living.
Satisfaction and contentment – determining factors
Dr. Neil T. Anderson gives a very interesting definition of the determining factors of satisfaction in life. He shares from his many years of experience in working with people as a Christian counselor and pastor that satisfaction is directly dependent not only on the righteous life but also on the quality of relationships, products, and services, in that order. The better the relationships we have, the products and services we use or that we provide in our daily lives, the more our satisfaction and contentment with life grow.
We need quality, substance, fullness. That what makes us happy and brings true satisfaction. First of all, we need quality in our relationships. This means investing in others, cultivating virtues such as perseverance, faithfulness, kindness, tenderness, forgiveness, acceptance, nobility, honesty, transparency and integrity. In other words, we want to be loved truly, unconditionally and forever, as we also would like to love so. Love is the quality and essence of each relationship. And not every kind of love but God’s love.
The most powerful key to satisfaction and contentment
God knows our greatest need and gives us the key to a life of satisfaction and contentment. Through Christ, God invites us to enter into a relationship with Him in which He shows us His love. Love that floods the deserts in our hearts and makes us capable, in our turn, to love as God loves us. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, called „the chapter of love“, the apostle Paul gives an excellent description of the divine love. At the same time, he points to an even more important truth – that without knowing and practicing this love we are nothing and nothing else is useful to us.
The way of obtaining satisfaction and contentment in life begins with recognizing our need for God and our need for love. We need to admit we can not love the way we want. It is necessary to recognize our need for God’s power and grace every day. We are to ask and accept from Him life and power, and the ability to love Him, ourselves and the other people. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
The key of acceptance and gratitude
The next important step of this path is to accept our life as it is, imperfect, not in accordance with our desires and aspirations, broken. A tangle of pain and joy. And to surrender it in all its imperfection and brokenness to God, to His care and guidance. To try to live with the consciousness that He holds all these broken pieces and makes them full of life.
Every day, with all the ups and downs, is a canvas where His grace and mercy paint wonderful pictures and speak love messages. He speaks with the sunrise in the sky and with the breath we take. His love sings with the bird songs, with the abundant food on the table. He speaks with the hug of a friend, with the good word of a parent, with the wonderful dress in sales, with the help of the stranger on the street, with the answer to every prayer… God’s love pulsates from every word in the Scripture. Every day is full of mercy and the life of God that He gives to those who receive Him. This life is the substance and the quality that makes us truly alive and truly happy.
The key of the right motivation
When we know, respond and grow in love in our most important relationship (with God), this has a transformative influence on all of our other relationships. God’s love changes our hearts and our attitude towards ourselves and all other people. The quality of these relationships increases and brings us more and more satisfaction and contentment.
The love of God also changes our motivation about what we do and how we work. This love compels us to do our best and to put every effort into what we do. Not for human praise, nor for money, but as before the Lord and unto the Lord. „Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” (Ephesians 6:6-7) By working as to the Lord, we increase the quality of everything that comes out of our hands, either in work or in private life. This way we contribute both to our own satisfaction and bring joy to the others who benefit from our work.
The biggest source of satisfaction
The path of love leads us to live a righteous life pleasing to God. While walking on it, we pick up the wonderful fruit of satisfaction and contentment, unshakable joy and peace of mind. Let us not look at the circumstances, at our successes and failures, at the other people, at what we have or at what we lack as our sources of satisfaction. Let us make God and His love our greatest source of satisfaction. Because He is the true source. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
Which of these keys to satisfaction and contentment do you use more and which less? Come, share your thoughts in the comments!