Chou & Edge once conducted a study back in 2012 where they surveyed 736 college students from a large Midwestern university who used Facebook for an average of two hours a day. The study showed that the more a person would use Facebook, the more likely that person would build envious feelings towards the life that others portray online.
Nowadays, some people even use Facebook to simply examine the life of others. It’s now so common that there’s a name for it: surveillance use. At the heart of all of this is a dangerous discontent that we ought to be wary of.
1 Timothy 6:6 tells us, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
In a day and age where excess is praised, God’s Word breaks that norm and teaches us that what we want to have is not as important as what we already have.
Here are five simple steps to become more content with what you now have.
1. Don’t Tie Your Satisfaction To Your Circumstance
Paul said in Philippians 4:12, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Just like Paul, we can find satisfaction in plenty and in scarcity if we base our satisfaction on something more stable than the changing times—Jesus Christ.
2. Watch Out For The Subtleness Of Envy
It’s tough to spot one’s own envy at times, and we need to be humble enough to admit it if it has found its way into our hearts. We should watch out for envy because of the damage it can do to our souls once left unchecked. Proverbs 14:30 tells us, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
3. Practice Generosity
A generous heart will be less likely to be consumed by discontentment. At the core of discontentment is a fleshly selfishness that tries to draw happiness from things.
We need to learn to let go of certain earthly treasures by learning to be more generous.
4. Present Your Needs To God
I know how tempting it can be to think that we need certain things other people have—more travels, more gadgets, more friends, and so on. If it’s truly a need, then it’s best surrendered to God rather than submitted to discontentment. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
5. Seek First The Kingdom Of God
The things that others have that we wish we had as well will never ultimately satisfy us. I guarantee it. The only true thing that can satisfy us is the presence and move of our loving God in heaven who wants us to find utmost joy in Him. And just as a bonus, He then also adds other earthly things that you may desire as well. As Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”