There is a lot of discontent in the world today.  People are being downright obnoxious to each other, and even CHURCH people are not walking in love toward one another many times.  Now the Apostle Paul had somewhat to say about being content, in Philippians 4:11-13,

Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Php 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The key here is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.  But there are times we are discontent because of things that are NOT of God, and therefore, we don’t have the grace of the strengthening from God to be content WITH.  What I’m saying here is, not everything that happens to you is ordained of God.  There is a devil out there constantly plotting against us.  And there are ungodly people out there who do bad things to us.  And there are supposedly GODLY people out there who are not doing what’s right to us.  And we should have enough sense to know which is which.

We should live our lives with grace toward others, for not all, in fact not many people walk in love, and we have lots of opportunities to give grace, mercy, and forgiveness to those who abuse us.  But there is a time to walk away, too.  I don’t believe God expects us to hang around abusive people.  For example, there are a lot of abused married people who remain in abusive situations rather than change it, because people tend to take the path of least resistance.  For some it’s easier to stay in a bad situation, rather than face the unknown changes that would occur by leaving.  But is it worth it to maintain the “status quo”?  Is it worth staying in a situation that saps the life out of you, for the sake of “keeping the peace”?  That’s one you have to decide for yourself.

There’s a lot to say for being “content”.  If you are content, you can weather a lot of hardship.  If you aren’t, then that’s what your heart desires.  Content doesn’t mean material goods, it’s a feeling of peace inside that you have, even when outward circumstances aren’t going well.  Yes, you can be content in the midst of problems, if your Spirit is content.  It’s when you are not content in your Spirit that change is called for.  What do you have to do to become content?  Many think money solves every problem, but more money is not the answer.  More of GOD is the answer.  But, even then, there are still other things to address.  Maybe a situation at home is unsustainable in its present state, but it is obvious nothing is going to change unless YOU remove yourself from it.  Sometimes the only way to being content is to remove yourself, if you see the other person is never going to change.

It’s perfectly possible the other person is content just the way they are, so they see no problem with what’s going on.  But you have a choice to make: stay with things as they are, and slowly have the life sapped out of you, or, pretend there’s really nothing wrong and try to ignore it, or change YOUR situation.  Never expect an abusive person to see that there’s a problem, because they will never see it. They will see YOU as a complainer.  A drug addict never sees they have a problem, nor will an alcoholic. It’s called DENIAL.  Everyone sees the problem but them. But does God expect you to stay in a situation where your life is being drained out of you?  No. there are the “martyr” type who silently suffer for decades, never being content, and never knowing the peace of God that passes understanding.  God WANTS you to experience His peace.  And sometimes that will require action on YOUR part.

Imagine your doorbell ringing, you answer the door, and someone punches you in the nose.  You slam the door.  The doorbell rings again, and you open the door and get punched again.  How many times will you keep opening the door and getting punched before you finally quit opening the door?  Some of you are getting the daylight punched out of you and you just keep opening the door, thinking it’s easier than changing things.  I’m not telling you that running away is the answer.  Confrontation is not bad, and after confronting the problem, if there is no way forward to resolve the problem, then relocating yourself may be the only answer.  But being content should not be just for one person in a relationship.  And wanting to feel content should not make you feel guilty or selfish.  After all, God created you in HIS image, and I cannot find anywhere in the Bible where He wants you to be miserable all your life.

There is yet ANOTHER side to this coin:  if you cannot be content where you are, you must ask yourself if you are trying to do things on YOUR strength, or in Christ’s.  Your own strength will only go so far in getting you where you need to be.  Some people cannot be content no matter what is going on around them, because they are not content with their own behavior.  That calls for change, too.  Not everything is someone else’s problem, sometimes it’s you.  But if you’re doing what’s right, and there’s still no peace, then it’s very possible you are being abused.  Contentment is worth defending, don’t let it be stolen from you by subjecting yourself to abuse.  Even Jesus removed Himself when the Jews were trying to throw Him over the cliff.  There’s a time to stay, and there’s a time to go. Ask God for wisdom what to do. Being content is a great treasure, to be carefully guarded.