Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

The Spring Of Our Discontent

         

            Have you noticed how discontent people are in our world? Is it the insecurity of the economy, the uncertainty of today’s world, the constant barrage of commercials, or just the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence” syndrome?

            One of my favorite Bible images comes from Psalm 131:2 which states:

            “I have calmed myself and quieted my ambitions. I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”

            Isn’t that a great picture?

            Totally oblivious to the rise or fall of the stock market, or the threat of job loss, or terrorist attacks, or even swine flu, a weaned child is at peace, snuggled up to the warm and safe protection of her mother. What a beautiful portrait of contentment.

            How many of us more closely resemble an infant with an empty stomach and a full diaper, squalling at the top of our lungs in discontent and despair?

            What causes this sense of discontentment in our hearts?

            What makes us feel that nothing is ever good enough, and that the key to a satisfying life is for us to acquire something “more,” “different,” “newer,” “bigger,” or “better?”

            I have learned that the progression from contentment and satisfaction to discontent and dissatisfaction moves like this:

I Desire.

I Demand.

I Judge.

I Punish.

            As we move from a focus on our desires, to our demands, to criticizing those who do not fulfill them, to finally lashing out at them, we galvanize our discontent.

            James wrote:

                1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. {James 4:1-3}

            So what is the solution to our prevalent discontent? I read a book recently where the author, John Piper, wrote: “Sin is what you do when you are not fully satisfied in God.” Contentment comes when we are fully satisfied with the choices, gifts, blessings, and circumstances that God provides for our lives.

            Hebrews 13:5 says:

                5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

            We know that the grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but that grass still needs mowing too. We may think that the “new model” will satisfy us, but the new model will eventually leave us as empty as the old model did.

            Contentment comes when we relax and enjoy what God has provided for us today, knowing that God will continue to be faithful to fully provide for us tomorrow, and every day that follows.

 

 

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