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The following is adapted from Possibilities: Partnering with God to Become Your Best Self by Kiersten Lortz. To read the full article, click here.
Hebrews 13:5 reads: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have.” I know this one hits home for a lot of us. Have you ever found yourself mumbling jealously about another woman’s house or clothes? Do you feel a tinge of longing when someone posts about their fabulous vacation? Have you had conversations with the pretense that you are happy for a friend when you are really bitter that she had an opportunity you haven’t? I have. It can be difficult to celebrate the good in another person’s life when we feel we have not been equally blessed. To paraphrase Alma 41:10, bitterness never was happiness, and since we’re on a quest for greater happiness, we need to rid ourselves of that feeling.
Let’s work backward through our Hebrews scripture to clarify. To “be content with such things as ye have” does not imply that we should sit idly by with an attitude of, “I’m all good here. I don’t need to do any more. I’ve got this all figured out.” That is complacency rearing its ugly head. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines content as “satisfied, not displeased.” Furthermore, “to rest content” means “to be at peace with oneself” (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, s.v. “content”). Wow. When is the last time you felt at peace with yourself?
Another aspect of contentment is living with gratitude for the blessings we do have instead of always wishing for more. Contentment means we are proactive in our choices instead of reactive to our situation. It means we see the good and make an effort to share it with others.
This isn’t always easy. For many months last year, I noticed that my sweet and loving daughter was getting grumpier and grumpier. She was more irritable, less cooperative, and not having as many positive social interactions as I had seen previously. One day, after a bout of stomping and grumbling, I said to her, “Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.” We talked about putting a smile on your face even when you are seething inside and stepping back to gain your composure before losing your temper. The conversation ended, and she moved on with an obviously fake smile plastered on her freckled face.
I thought about that conversation over the next few days. I wondered why my children were so grumpy when other children were not. I thought about the families I knew whose children were happy and pleasant. There was one common denominator—they had a happy mother.
To read the full article on LDSLiving, click here.