Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dealing with Discontentment

Today I was in the process of grabbing food from my refrigerator so I could make lunch for my family.  Sounds like an ordinary afternoon, right?  However, my refrigerator is not in my house but in my friends' garage.  I quickly became distracted by all the stuff that was surrounding me and unfortunately, I immediately became discontent with my situation.

For those of you that are new to The Alabaster Jar, my family and I don’t have a place to call our own yet. We are currently living with close family friends. All of our belongings (earthly possessions) are piled up in our friends’ garage, and yes, that does include my underwear!  You can read more of my story here at: How to Lose Your Dream Home Not Just Once, But Twice

My dresser filled with my clothes.
There are many things in my life today that can cause me to be discontent, especially if I look in the mirror and see my thinning head, my extra, unwanted pounds and the wrinkles on my face.  Oh, and I can't forget those natural highlights called 'gray hair'.  But the discontentment that I faced today included my living situation.

It is very easy in this world to live a discontented life if we allow our minds to go there.

Here are some things that can trigger discontentment:

• Dealing with difficult or broken relationships
• Feeling lonely
• Longing to be married or strains on your marriage
• Financial hardships 
• Chronic illnesses
The list could go on and on.

With the world surrounding us, it tells us we should have:
• a bigger house
• a nicer car
• the latest fashions
• our children need to be in the best schools, (or use the best curriculum if we homeschool)
• we should look younger and be thinner

There is nothing inherently wrong with these things, unless of course we are looking for them to fulfill us; which is the root of the problem.

I think discontentment runs in our blood.  Generally speaking, I personally think that women are more prone to being discontent more than men are. 

For example, take a look at Adam and Eve. Adam was content to eat from all the other trees in the garden, except from the one that was forbidden by God. It was Eve who was discontent with all that was given to her. She just had to have MORE than what the Creator of the Universe provided for her!

Then there’s Sarah. Oh Sarah… what a discontented woman she was! She wasn’t happy about the fact that she still had not bore any children with Abraham. So what does she do? She takes matters into her own hands thinking of course that by doing so, she will become content. Wrong! Because of this, she makes an even bigger mess out of her life.

She had her maidservant, Hagar, sleep with her husband so she can bear children for Sarah. Soon Hagar becomes pregnant, just like Sarah had wanted, but then Sarah becomes discontent (again!) because Hagar was carrying Abraham’s child. Ridiculous! There was no pleasing this woman. She wanted to eat her cake and have it too!

We can become constant drippings... like a dripping faucet. Drip. Drip. Drip. The thought of that sound alone grates on my nerves.

Imagine how we sound when we act and say things over, and over, and over like a constant dripping faucet? Annoying! Who would want to be around a woman like that?

Repeatedly in the Holy Scriptures we see the admonition to the women about our attitudes.   Ladies, if you are not married, don’t discard this admonition because you can still apply it to your lives.

“The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.” Proverbs 19:23

“A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15

Definition of contentment: satisfaction with what one has

1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed
2) sufficiency of the necessities of life
3) a mind contented with its lot, contentment

Contentment will come to us when we focus on the things of the Lord and not on the things of this world.  

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

It is only when we live for Jesus Christ, pursuing Him, knowing Him, and serving Him that will we become content. The pursuit of things that are not lasting, things that will pass away, will eventually lead to our discontentment.

Tips to fill you with contentment:
  • • Pray. Ask for the Lord’s strength to protect you from the trappings and deception of the Enemy. (Remember Eve?)
  • • Hide God’s Word in your heart and meditate on the Scriptures.
  • • Join a Bible study
  • • Listen to praise and worship music throughout the day. (if possible)
  • • Spend time in fellowship with other strong women of faith…not just girlfriends, but women who desire to know more of Jesus and who want to spend their time talking about Him! If you don’t have friends like this, PRAY, and in time, the Lord will bring you some!
  • • Change your perspective from having the things of this ‘world’ to having your eyes on eternity. This alone will make a HUGE impact on your day.
  • • Serve the Lord rather than yourself.
  • • Ask yourself what is it that you pursue? What are your priorities? Will those things draw you closer to Jesus? Or will you be drawn further away from Him and His presence?
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. Proverbs 25:28 (I’m gonna try and not have cake tonight!)

The key to contentment in one’s life is the relationship you have with Christ. Knowing who He is as you continually seek Him and realizing who you are in Him is where content will be found! “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

For those that are married, you can read my post here called, Discontentment in Your Marriage.


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