Contentment is like a double-edge sword. In life we need to work hard to achieve and better ourselves, and so if I am content I might not have the drive to do so. But if I am solely focused on my goals and aspirations I may forget to appreciate my current blessings and never be at peace. So true contentment requires a balance to be happy where you are, and to trust in where you are going. The result of such a balance is a crown of peace, or as it is said in today’s quote – you will have a crown called “content”.
“My crown is called content: A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.” – William Shakespeare, King Henry VI
We find this quote in Shakespeare’s King Henry VI, and although it has a sense of wisdom to it, it is not really Biblical. The words in this play were spoken by a deposed King Henry who had an encounter while wandering the countryside. He was simply stating that he was content not being the king, and that such contentment was not afforded a king who invariably has much responsibility and care. So what does the Bible say about contentment?
The Apostle Paul has a famous passage about being content, where he says that he knows how to be exalted and how to be abased, how to be both full and how to be hungry. His point: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. (Philippians 4:11 NJKV). Yes, Paul had learned the secret of true contentment and how to balance the seeming contradiction that being content presents. And that secret is no secret at all; it is faith.
Like Paul of old, we can walk that same path of contentment today. He has taught us that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and in that he is referring to the small things and the great things. This is how we can be content: have trust that God is with you today in your current circumstance, and that He holds your tomorrow in His hands. In this you can be happy for today and aspire for tomorrow in contentment.
So as we trust in the Lord, today we can wear a crown that is called content, and tomorrow we can wear the crown of eternal life. Be still, that is content, and know that He is God. And if you have the chance, Philippians 4 is a great read.
See more William Shakespeare quotes.