Have you ever wanted something but were unsure exactly what??? Have you ever asked for something and then been disappointed with what you received???
JAMES 4:1-3 KJV
1.”From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2.Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3.Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
When I feel these feelings, I know that sin is close on my heels! Many times, there is no specific trigger to my discontent; it’s just there! It won’t go away and I don’t know how it appease it! It’s like a giant, mythical, dragon waiting to devour me.
Discontentment is usually caused by dissatisfaction with self! If you can’t figure out what’s causing that awful feeling inside, then it’s time for some honest self-evaluation.
In the process of sorting out my dissatisfaction, I discovered it’s easier to change my surroundings than to change me! Change means we have to be honest and admit how we sabotage ourselves with wrong attitudes, lack of follow-through on projects, and general stubbornness.
Did you know the discontentment is a great home wrecker! Divorces are rooted in dissatisfaction with a spouse or in a circumstance. Think about the number of times you became frustrated with your spouse for one reason or another. You want change and you want it now! Maybe you became frustrated with your children. You want change right now! We demand it and are angry when it isn’t forthcoming! Are your expectations unreasonable? Think about it…can you change on demand?
Discontentment is a great job wrecker too! First order of business in dealing with discontentment on the job is usually, “I quit!”. Before quitting, evaluate why you are unhappy. We grumble about how little we are paid or how we are treated while on the job. Sometimes our discontent is because we feel used and taken for granted. Make a list of everything that really gets on your nerves. Then evaluate whether or not your issues demand your resignation. Think about the consequences before you quit in a huff.
Discontentment is a great church wrecker! Amen? How many church splits have you been through? What was the root cause? Usually, it’s because somebody was discontented with the administration of church finances, or with the Pastor’s sermons, or with the accommodations or something or someone else! The list could go on and on, because not everyone is going to be pleased! Gossip can be the root cause of a lot of discontent. Choosing not to forgive or overlook a perceived slight just fuels the fire of anger.
The way we handle discontentment is of the utmost importance. We can wallow in it and feed it, keeping the fire going! Or we can see it for what it is; an ugly ungrateful spirit filled with pride and anger. We have chosen to ignore our blessings. In fact, we have chosen to throw God’s blessings back in His face, and have proclaimed them unworthy! We have put ourselves into the position of refusing to accept the tests the Lord has placed before us. We have put ourselves into rebellion mode!
Time to check our spiritual temperature! Yep! Definitely, something going on here! Prescription: Confession first off! Repentance next! Then peace.
If we bury our heads and refuse to face our feelings and examine where they are coming from, then we cannot find peace. Sometimes we will realize the need for correction in our attitude and expectations of ourselves and others. Sometimes we need to make things right with someone we have hurt. That may mean forgiving and restoring someone. Left unchecked our discontent will only get worse! Better to look at those ugly feelings square on, and let the Lord show you your sin! Let Him change your attitude. Pretty soon, your discontentment will go away!
Original article appeared in the Mar/April 1999 Issue of Words of Encouragement by Linda Hull.