Tuesday, November 1

My Sinful Discontent

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. --1st Timothy 6:6-8

I recently described my experience with coming to grips with the reality of my personal "besetting sins" and how they prevent me from living whole-heartedly devoted to God. My ongoing struggles include battling discontentment and its close cousin, envy. Ashamedly, I must admit that I have a competitive streak. I have a tendency to compare myself to those around me, and let my emotions be too easily affected by this.

In the past I just dismissed this behavior as something that was a personality trait of mine, or perhaps even just "a girl thin." I didn't realize the by focusing so much on meaningless, worldly, external things, I was wasting energy that could have been much better spent on deepening my relationship with God. This weekend God convicted me of my sinful behavior and humbled me.

Like many Southern Californians, I am far too easily lured by the desire to accumulate "stuff." Clothes, electronics, decorative things for the home, even having a certain type of home, for many of us can be a way that we seek to call attention to ourselves. The better we think we look to some people, the better we may feel about ourselves. Sadly, this is all emptiness and not at all in line with Christ-like behavior.

Jesus' life was not a flashy one. The Bible says that even his appearance was ordinary. He didn't have a home during his years of ministry, yet he lacked nothing. God provided for him at every turn. When he needed food, he had it. When he needed comfort from friends, there were always at least two of his best friends close at hand.

God has bless me with so much and in many different ways. There are plenty of things that I have that certainly aren't necessities. God provides for me over and above my basic needs. How selfish, foolish, pitiable and shameful am I when I feel that I am justified in my sense of discontentment? God's grace is sufficient, and His hand has provided all I have ever needed.

Life is too short for it to be wasted on the things that have no lasting purpose or value. The next time I feel embittered with envy or discontentment, I will find myself asking God to forgive me for my sinful attitude, and ask Him to replace it with a grateful heart.

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