Bible Verses about Cultivating Contentment

  • Exodus 20:17 ESV
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
  • Psalm 23:1 NKJV
    The Lord is my shepherd;
    I shall not want.
  • Psalm 37:16 ESV
    Better is the little that the righteous has
        than the abundance of many wicked.
  • Psalm 73:1-5 MSG
    No doubt about it! God is good
        good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
    But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.
    I was looking the other way, looking up to the people
    At the top, envying the wicked who have it made,
    Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.
  • Proverbs 14:30 HCSB
    A tranquil heart is life to the body,
    but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
  • Proverbs 27:4 NIV
    Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
        but who can stand before jealousy?
  • Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
    Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
  • Matthew 6:33 ESV
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  • Luke 3:14 NIV
    Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
    He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
  • Luke 12:15 HCSB
    He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
  • Romans 12:6 MSG
    So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
  • Romans 13:13 NIV
    Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
  • Romans 14:17 NASB
    for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:3 NIV
    You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
  • Galatians 5:26 NASB
    Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
  • Philippians 2:3-4 MSG
    If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
  • Philippians 4:11-12 ESV
    Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
  • 1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV
    But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
  • Hebrews 13:5 HCSB
    Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you
  • James 4:14-16 NIV
    But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

The Resting Place


Next week is “the movie.”

That’s what my fourth grader calls it.  She’s been fretting about this movie for two years.

She always lowers her voice when she speaks of it.  She always calls it “THE MOVIE” in hushed capital letters.  Occasionally, her hands even pop up to make quotation marks in the air.

Seems like they’ve been showing a movie like this to fourth graders for decades.  I watched it when I was in school, but I sure don’t remember dreading it or worrying over it or spending months terrified of the potential embarrassment.

But that’s my girl.  She’s a thinker.  A planner.  More like a fretter.  Maybe an obsesser.

She gets most of that from me.

Okay, maybe she gets all of that from me.

I keep telling her the truth: There’s nothing in this movie about puberty and growing up that we haven’t covered here at home already.  So, what’s the big deal?

But truth isn’t really cutting through the emotional trauma she’s built up over the years.

It’s rumbling around in her heart and mind, turning up in the most unexpected places.  Last night, I mentioned how quickly April has flown by and she launched into another speech about the imminence of “The Movie” and how her life will end within the week.

Next week, I guarantee she’ll come home and I’ll say, “How was ‘the movie?’ and she’ll shrug it off for the absolutely mundane, not-terrible, unsurprising, non-monumental moment in her life that it really is.

But for this week: It’s a distractor.  It’s a stressor.  It’s an emotional time-bomb.

So, I’m playing the voice of reason for my daughter. I’m the quiet, calm purveyor of wisdom and I’m the one trying to give her a healthy perspective on this thing called life.

Because apparently when you’re ten, everything is a near-catastrophe.

But I need this for my own life, too.

Because I’m distracted.  I’m stressed.  I’m fretting over potentialities and playing through possibilities, just turning them over and over like a dryer tumbling my wet towels.

This is what I don’t want.  Tumble, tumble, tumble.

But what if it happens?  Tumble, tumble, tumble.

I want this….and I want that….and it’s impossible to have both.  Tumble, tumble, tumble.

I read God’s Word and it just breezes through my mind without touchdown or impact.

But this finally hits home:

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Rest is what I need.

I say I need a vacation, or a break, or a getaway, or a long walk in absolute quiet.

But what I really need is a rested soul, a quiet spirit.

Oh, a physical rest would be nice, of course.  But so often that’s a temporary fix and then it’s back to this pacing back and forth, this distraction, this tension.

I need a resting place in the here and now of this life, this moment, this situation, this day and everything that this day brings.

Isaiah wrote:

“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”  (Isaiah 28:12).

And the resting place isn’t far. It’s not an exotic island and it doesn’t take a plane-trip to Hawaii or my entire savings account to get there.

It’s trusting Jesus.

In When Women Long for Rest, Cindy McMenamin wrote:

“Rest isn’t just laying down and clearing your mind.  It’s retraining your mind to turn over the problems to the only One who is able to work them out.”

My heart finds rest when it sinks into the rhythms of grace God has established.

I’m no longer pushing, pushing, pushing for my own agenda or striving to set my own pace, or straining to head in my own direction.

I’ve relaxed into Him.

Elisabeth Elliott wrote:

“Jesus, in the unbroken intimacy of His Father’s love, kept a quiet heart.  None of us possesses a heart so perfectly at rest, for none lives in such divine unity, but we can learn a little more each day of what Jesus knew…”

May I learn a little of this today:  A quiet heart, a heart perfectly at rest because I’m aware of the intimacy of His love, trusting in His care, united in His will.

So “let the weary rest.”


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Heather King