Contentment (αὐταρκεία, 1Ti 6:6; "sufficiency," 2Co 9:8) is a disposition of mind in which our desires are confined to what we enjoy without murmuring at our lot, or wishing ardently for more. It stands opposed to envy (Jas 3:16); to avarice (Heb 13:5) to pride and ambition (Pr 13:10); to anxiety of mind (Mt 6:25,34); to murmurings and repinings (1Co 10:10). Contentment does not imply unconcern about our welfare, or that we should not have a sense of anything uneasy or distressing; nor does it give any countenance to idleness, or prevent diligent endeavors to improve our circumstances. It implies, however, that our desires of worldly good be moderate; that we do not indulge unnecessary care, or use unlawful efforts to better ourselves; but that we acquiesce with, and make the best of our condition, whatever it be. Contentment arises not from a man's outward condition, but from his inward disposition, and is the genuine offspring of humility, attended with a fixed habitual sense of God's particular providence, the recollection of past mercies, and a just estimate of the true nature of all earthly things. Motives to contentment arise from the consideration of the rectitude of the divine government (Ps 97:1-2), the benignity of the divine providence (Psalm 145), the greatness of the divine promises (2Pe 1:4), our own unworthiness (Ge 32:10), the punishments we deserve (La 3:39-40), the reward which contentment itself brings with it (1Ti 6:6), the speedy termination of all our troubles here, and the prospect of eternal felicity in a future state (Ro 5:2) See Barrow, Works, 3, ser. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Burrows, On Contentment; Watson,
Art of Contentment; Dwight, Theology, ser. 129; Fellowes, Theology, 2:423, 500.