Indulge Your Contentment!

There are two basic appetites built in to us by God to ensure our success at staying healthy and producing the next generation. One is eating, which is enjoyable to ensure we will want to do it so that we can be strong and healthy enough to survive. Consider people with severe physical or mental illness that lose their appetite for enjoying food. Eventually they damage their health and even risk losing their life. The other is sex, which is fun to ensure that we will want to keep reproducing ourselves. People with mental or physical issues that lose their sex drive (or corrupt it into something never originally intended) cannot continue their family’s line.

We can create additional appetites that never existed before by either ingesting a substance that we like, or with behavior that causes our bodies to generate a substance we like (endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine etc.). Some may be ok with limited or occasional use but repeated or increasing amounts cause a risk of developing from an appetite into a habit or even an obsession or addiction. Substance examples include food constituents (added salt, sugar, fat, unnatural additives), mild stimulants and depressants (caffeine, alcohol) and recreational or other drugs and chemicals (nicotine, marijuana, pharmaceuticals etc.). Examples of behavior that can cause a “rush” that may create an “appetite” in some people include gambling, gossiping, arguing, shopping, falling in love or the pursuit of sexual conquest, risk-taking, thrill-seeking or even extreme exercise, self-denial, fasting, some types of meditation/hypnosis, escapist fantasy, fanaticism, etc.

The world teaches that contentment is identifying something new or a different version of something already acquired or just recognizing that more of what you have is better, then you will be content when you get it. It focuses on the desire to get and the fun of getting, not being satisfied with what is had already. So for the world contentment is like identifying an appetite so that satisfying the appetite will cause a feeling of contentment. But having an appetite means that the satisfied feeling is only temporary, and more getting will be required soon, so there is no real or lasting contentment. If the appetite progresses into a habit or addiction there will be a sense of urgency to keep fulfilling an unmet need, which is the perfect opposite of contentment. The goal becomes “feeding the monkey on your back” to gain a moment of relief. So the world’s ideas on how to be content are lies designed to harm people, just like most other ideas the world teaches.

True and lasting contentment is a type of peace. It involves recognizing things that are needs and how to resist the temptation to believe that wanted things are needs. It is hope with confidence that an adequate amount of needed things will always be available, so there are no worries about stockpiling or binging now to protect against a future shortage. It comes from believing in a Provider (of manna?) that will always arrange for sufficiency, so having a relationship with Him is required to be a complete person that can enjoy contentment.

Developing our relationship with God gives us the discipline of a disciple. It helps us focus on the wisdom and knowledge gained from Him to guide our decision making and makes the carnal appeal of appetites weaker and dimmer in our mind as we hear God’s Spirit in us guiding our conscience getting louder.

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