December 31, 2022

A Year of Contentment

Written by Tripp Prince

It is exhausting to maintain a storyline in which you are constantly at the center!”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 31, 2022

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:3-7, ESV

We arrive yet again at the cusp of a new year. Undoubtedly, we are feeling both reflective as we look back at the year that has past, as well as hopeful and curious as we look ahead to the year to come and the joy and wonder, as well as pain and heartache that inevitably will come. In the midst of it all, we encounter a cultural expectation to change, to grow, to stop doing this or start doing that, for when we awake tomorrow we receive a cultural “blank slate” of sorts. 

Whatever was regrettable or unwanted in your life this past year, we believe with the turning of the page we are given a new opportunity for growth. And whatever may have been commendable or desirable, this too can continue to grow and flourish. And of course in many ways this “great reset” is both good and right. We should seek to grow and deepen our lives in ways that are virtuous and true. Yet as you reflect and prepare, I offer one simple word of caution.

Life is bigger than your own self-improvement.

In truth, it is exhausting to maintain a storyline in which you are constantly at the center! If every relationship, activity, and conversation is viewed as a supporting role to the story of “you,” then you are destined for yet another year of great discontentment and anxiety. Why? Because meaning is never self-fulfilling but is found outside of ourselves.

Make your aim for this next year to live a life of “godliness with contentment,” as St. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6. And as he reminds us in verse 4, the obstacle to this goal is an “unhealthy craving for controversy.” When we are the stars of our own stories, we are desperate to ensure we’re never left out! And so we crave information, whether it is the latest gossip or the hottest controversy, ensuring we are always “in the mix.”

This year, perhaps you and I can discover the freedom that comes from embracing a small and, dare I say, unseen life. Ours is a constantly stimulated and chronically anxious society, fueled by fears of irrelevance and obscurity. Yet as we right-size our lives and learn to embrace contentment, we are set free to find our place in the story of God, and discover yet again the wonder of being known and loved by him.


Father, this year may I be reminded of the joy that is found in living a content and quiet life, and free me from the burden of being the star of my own story, I pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


What resolution can you make for this year that will help you to intentionally cultivate a content life?

Related Reading

Luke 12:15; Philippians 4:11-13; Hebrews 13:5

Worship Resource

Audrey Assad: I Shall Not Want


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