Contending With Discontent

by Sep 30, 2016Easy and Light

Contending With Discontent

Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5b (ESV)

I‘ve noticed lately a disconcerting lack of contentment in my life. Too often, when I observe a situation – whether it’s glancing around my living room, inspecting my outfit in the mirror or reviewing my bank balance – my first reaction is discontentment. I focus on what I need to change, what is missing or what isn’t as it should be. Of course, discontentment isn’t all bad. Recognizing what needs to change in our personal lives is the first step towards growth, and can build a pathway towards healing and creating healthy habits. Deep-rooted discontent with all the pain and evil in our broken world is both a catalyst for social justice and evidence of our original destiny. We were created as eternal beings, so of course we yearn for heaven’s future perfection to become our daily reality. But when discontent fills my field of vision, it pushes out the good and beautiful. If all is see is what is wrong or missing, I lose sight of what God is doing and focus instead on what he isn’t. My entire perspective becomes negatively skewed.
Forgive me, Lord, for my bent toward discontentment. Thank you that our present circumstances are not our permanent reality. Help me to give thanks to you in all things and to choose gratitude. Amen.

So how do I break this bad habit? With Gratitude. As I observe a situation and my first inclination is discontentment, I can choose instead to be grateful. Grateful for comfortable living room furniture regardless of its age; thankful for my clothing even if it isn’t the size I used to wear; grateful for money in my bank account despite the amount. Ephesians 5:20 instructs me to give “thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Choosing gratitude changes my perspective and helps me to be content with my current circumstances. It doesn’t come naturally, but it’s a choice I can make.

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