I remember sitting in a philosophy class at UCA, a dozen years ago, and the instructor asked us what was so good about being content.

He spent most of the class lecturing us on not “settling” in life and not striving to better ourselves.

Here’s what he failed to understand: Contentment is not a destination,
it is a manner of traveling


Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Philippians 4:11-12

Paul speaks of a life that likes to throw curveballs: Sometimes you’re abased (made low), sometimes you’re abounding (lifted up). Sometimes you’re full and sometimes you’re hungry. Sometimes you have a lot, and sometimes you’re in need.

Contentment isn’t about the destination. Just the opposite! Contentment doesn’t mean you sit down and give up when the going gets tough. It doesn’t mean you stop and lift your chin up smugly when things are going well. It means, no matter what–good OR bad–you keep pressing on, not letting anything–good OR bad–stop you from serving God.

You’re walking the journey of life, but you’re doing so with contentment. That’s not “settling” that’s “a life of peace with God.”