What to do With a Season of Discontent
"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30
"Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." Psalms 119:36-37
"It's not fair!" Those words rise unbidden to our hearts and lips as we compare our circumstances, relationships, possessions to others'. We begin to covet—to desire—to want—what we selfishly believe belongs to us thinking, "I wish it was mine," —until our focus is consumed with gaining what we perceive to be a lack.
"As [we] look over the fence into others'seemingly content lives, it can appear that the grass is greener and slowly, unblief about God's goodness creeps into the heart. Once this seed of unbelief takes root, the weed of coventousness sprouts. As it grows, the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindeness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22)—is often choked out. Covetousness leaves little room for anything healthy to grow and blooms into a life of discontentment." —Melissa Kruger, "The Envy of Eve"
We are pursuaded to hang our worth on our achievments, who we know, and the things we own; believing the lies sold to us in 60 to 90 second bursts—set to catchy jingles; hidden in popular music—by a world focused on and obsessed by the material. The repeated whispers tell us we don't measure up—are not getting something we deserve and this comparison can breed discontent.
"...like the drop of water that can find its way into the tiny crack of a rock. Once it freezes, it can cause a fissure that damages the rock and splits it to the core. The subtle nature of the sin of comparison can often hide its painful consequences...coveting, envy, jealousy...pierce the inward affections of our hearts...and if allowed to fester..,into a pattern of sin"—Melissa Kruger, "The Envy of Eve"
If you are feeling discontented and unsatisfied, seeking your worth in a world unable to provide something substantial, there is good news! The Good News is Jesus came to die for our sins of discontentment and covetousness bringing life saving, soul quenching living water. It is through Him we are able to lay aside the weight of discontentment (Hebrews 12:1); in Him we see the treasure and the true joy (Matthew 13:44); fix your eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:2) and as Paul described, learn to be content (Philippians 4:11).
The following video features a roundtable discussion exploring the pursuit and study of contentment:
Contentment Does Not Come Naturally from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.
See also: "The Secret to Stop Feeling Like a Failure" by Jennifer Dukes Lee
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