Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Battling Discontentment

There is something about Winter that tries to make me discontent.  I think it's the part where I stay cooped up in the house all season long because I don't like to drag my family out in the cold.  When I'm stuck (by choice) at home, I have more time to look around and notice all the things I'd like to change--to think about all the things I'd like to do or to buy--and I start to become discontent.

Discontentment is a hard thing for me to admit, because I neither want to be discontent nor have I any reason to be discontent.  God has blessed me with all that I need and more, and to respond with anything less than utter gratefulness and contentment seems so... ugly.  I have already been given so much more than I could ever deserve.  How dare I seek for more?

As the Bible instructs in Hebrews 13:5a, I want to "make sure that [my] character is free from the love of money, being content with what [I] have."  I know that "the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and [that] some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10); and I know that I must flee these things, pursuing not the things that money brings, but pursuing instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness (see 1 Timothy 6:11).  These are the things that profit.

I often instruct my children that when they are about to complain they ought to instead think of something for which they are thankful.  This week, I am going to purposely practice what I preach.  When I am tempted to express a lack of gratitude by longing for a Winter getaway, I will instead thank God for a steady job and a warm home.  When I am tempted to feed discontentment by shopping for new storage solutions, I will instead thank God for a pantry full of food and supplies and closets full of clothing.  ("If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content" (1 Timothy 6:8).)

Forgive me, Lord, for my grumbling.  Forgive me for my ungratefulness.  Keep me from the love of money, and help me to always be content with what I have.  You know what I need even before I ask You (Matthew 6:8), and You have promised to never desert me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  In You I trust, and to You I am thankful.  You are all I need.


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