Contentment

Watson defined contentment as “a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition.”

Contentment exists and flows from the heart.  It “lies within a man; not in the bark, but the root.” This is why difficult circumstances may not destroy a Christian’s contentment. “A bee may sting through the skin, but it cannot sting to the heart: outward afflictions cannot sting to a Christian’s heart, where contentment lies.” This is also why outward prosperity doesn’t necessarily produce contentment.

 

Thomas Watson sang the high praises of contentment in his book The Art of Divine Contentment, recently republished by Soli Deo Gloria Publications. He wrote that he didn’t know of any ornament in religion “that doth more bespangle a Christian, or glitter in the eye of God and man, than this of contentment.”

Watson defined contentment as “a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition.” True contentment is a gift from above and is only found in those who have been born of the Spirit. “It is a fruit that grows not in the garden of philosophy, but is of heavenly birth.”

Contentment exists and flows from the heart.  It “lies within a man; not in the bark, but the root.” This is why difficult circumstances may not destroy a Christian’s contentment. “A bee may sting through the skin, but it cannot sting to the heart: outward afflictions cannot sting to a Christian’s heart, where contentment lies.” This is also why outward prosperity doesn’t necessarily produce contentment. “A drop or two of vinegar will sour a whole glass of wine.  Let a man have the affluence and confluence of worldly comforts, a drop or two of discontent will embitter and poison all.”

How do you know if you are content?  Here are four diagnostic questions based upon Watson’s book. 1) Do you silently, willingly receive God’s providential dealings with you or do you complain and grumble?  Watson carefully distinguished between a holy complaint and a discontented complaint. In the former “we complain to God,” and in the latter “we complain of God.” 2) Do you thank God in every situation? Phil. 4:61 Thess. 5:183) Do you rejoice always? Phil. 4:4.4) Do you ever use sinful means to get out of your troubled situation?

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