I’m a big fan of mysteries. As a kid, I read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books. And if you were to take a look at my DVR—the shows I’m recording—you’d see a common theme. I like to watch people try and figure things out—I get so caught up in “WhoDunIt?” And let’s be honest, I’m trying to solve the crime before they do.
One of the things I’ve realized as an adult is that contentment can seem mysterious. All you have to do is turn on a reality TV show or catch up on the news to realize that having more doesn’t equal happiness or peace of mind. In fact, it often seems to do the opposite.
Our contentment is about more than just our personal happiness. It’s really a demonstration of our daily trust in God. It shows that we believe His way is better than our own. It allows us to focus on what God is doing in and around us right now. And when we are content, others can see a glimpse of the peace that passes understanding.
That’s why we think it’s so important for us to help kids Get a Clue on who’s snatching their contentment. After all, contentment is choosing to be happy with what you’ve got. In fact, our monthly memory verse hints at the secret to being content. Philippians 4:11b-12a says: “I have learned to be content no matter what happens to me. I know what it’s like not to have what I need. I also know what it’s like to have more than I need. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens,” (NIrV).
In Week One’s Bible story, in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-13, 23, 24), we see how the first human beings that God created, even though they had everything they could ever need, were tempted by the one thing they’d been instructed to leave alone.
Because they didn’t make the wise choice, we’re still living with the consequences today. Our Bottom Line is: When you want what you shouldn’t have, it can lead to trouble.
In Week Two’s Bible story, we’ll focus on how the Israelites longed for Egypt (Exodus 16:2-21, 17:1-4) even after God miraculously rescued them and continued to provide for them in mind-blowing ways. Their discontent caused them to miss out on the miracles all around them. So, our Bottom Line is: When you want what you had before, you miss what you have now.
In Week Three’s Bible story, we learn about spoiled King Ahab, who’s upset enough that the people around him are willing to plot, steal and even murder just because his neighbor Naboth won’t sell him his family’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-19, 27). The Bottom Line is: When you want what someone else has, it can make you miserable.
In Week Four’s Bible story, we unpack a practical go-to passage about worry, which definitely gets in the way of contentment (Matthew 6:25-30). Jesus uses everyday examples like birds and flowers to point out how much more God cares about people.
Worrying about all the what if’s and wondering anxiously about how things will turn out shows that we don’t really trust God to take care of us. We seem to want stuff to make us feel important, powerful and secure. But God says, “You have Me!” So, our Bottom Line is: When you trust God, you don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
Contentment has a lot to do with our perception. Some of us are more prone to look backward at the past, while others are always wishing for what’s to come. But God invites us to be present and focus on Him. Who’s snatching your contentment?