FRIDAY FIVE: Dangers of Discontentment

Discontentment is one of the enemy's favorite tools. Remember in Genesis 3? Satan approached the sinless woman in the perfect world God had created just for her and her husband. She had everything she could ever possibly need, but he convinced her by planting a seed of doubt that the one thing she couldn't have (because God was protecting her) was the one thing she couldn't live without. Even though in reality that one thing God kept from her would kill her, break her world, strain her relationship with God and her husband, and create a legacy of brokenness for her children.

Why would Satan change his tactic if it was effective? If he could plant this seed of discontentment in a perfect woman living in a perfect world who was married to a perfect man and cared for by a perfect God...you bet he will try relentlessly to nurture the seed of discontentment in us. There are many roads the enemy will try to lead you down in order to bring you to a place of discontentment. We've highlighted five of the most common here. Please feel free to add to or modify them in the comment section below!

 

  • Unthankfulness: When you're unthankful, you don't appreciate what you have because all you focus on is what you cannot or do not have. In Hebrews 13:5, we're told not to covet, but rather to be content with what we have, because God will never leave nor forsake us. God is our provider and we should be thankful to Him for the ways He chooses to provide for us, even if that provision looks different than our neighbor's. A seed of unthankfulness planted in your heart leads to...
  • Comparison: The very basis of comparison is envy and covetousness. We are unthankful for what we do have, so we look to what others have and compare ourselves to them. The enemy will come and whisper to you "You're just as good or even better than they are, you deserve to have what they have." James 4 says "You are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel." When you believe you deserve more than what God has provided, seeds of bitterness and anger are planted in your heart, which lead to...
  • Withholding: How can you love God when you feel like He has kept all the things you feel you deserve or should have from you?  Like a spoiled child who didn't discover what he wanted under the tree Christmas morning, you pout and lash out at God when you don't get what you want.  Do you blame God like Adam did in his response to God after tasting the fruit in the garden? God is still the perfect Creator God who gave Adam and Eve everything they needed, desiring their wholeness. He desires you to become more Christlike and will give you everything you need to do just that. Don't withhold your love and obedience from God, who, like a loving Father, wants only what is best for you. In the end, witholding love from God hurts you and grieves the Holy Spirit. That's when the enemy comes and plants seeds of...
  • Self Loathing and Condemnation: Eventually, you reach a place where you understand that no matter how you deny it, you alone are responsible for the condition of your heart. However, if the enemy has distorted your perception of the redemption available to us all, you can fall into a place of desperation. You think that since you've gotten yourself into your own personal pit through your own failures and bitterness there is no way out. You begin to hate yourself at the core of your being and slide down the spiral of self destruction. The enemy's goal is that you would essentially take yourself out from within. Satan will nurture your thoughts of self condemnation, despair, and diminishment to keep you under his boot. Living in this place of self-hatred and condemnation lead to the belief that others should suffer the way you are suffering, which leads you to plant seeds of...
  • Curse: When you live life discontented, unthankful and constantly comparing yourself to others, you will hurt and curse the people around you. You grumble and complain, going on and on about how life has dealt you a bad hand, how you never get the relationships or belongings you deserve, focusing on all the things you don't have, including a heart which is close to God. All the while, knowingly or unknowingly, you are leaking your unthankful, comparing, withholding, resenting attitude on them. A complaining spirit of criticism is corrosive and toxic. You are also training up your children to be discontent, simply because they are learning to live life from their role model- you. The implied warning in Exodus 20:5 is that if you, as a parent, choose to live a sinful lifestyle which grieves the heart of God, you are influencing your children to do so as well. You are unwittingly cursing future generations, ancestors you may never know.

God is enough, He is your perfect provision. When you live your life through the lens of contentment, thankful for every good gift He's given you and for the people He's put in your life, you reflect the unconditional love of God. You are thankful for the love God has for you, the way an adult grows to be thankful for the protection a parent provided them as a child. God may be keeping something out of your grasp as an act of protection for you!

It is so important that we seek God's truth to come against those lies of the enemy that would have us live in shame and lives that are less than God intended. Let His word convict and change you, seek and receive His forgiveness as needed, separate your sins from your circumstances, and don't let the enemy condemn you! When you choose to walk out contentment in your marriage, with a humble heart and with thankfulness to God, you cherish and love your spouse the way Christ loves you, and will never leave or forsake you.

How do we counter discontentment? With thankfulness. When you dwell in a place where you are thankful to God for what He has given you, for the people in your life, and for His faithfulness, you are remaining steadfast in Jesus Christ's supremacy, sovereignty, and sufficiency. As you elevate Christ and His work in your life, you recognize it as complete, and you will savor and value what you have in Christ. You will savor and value your spouse! When you are thankful, you are immune to Satan's ploys and will live in Christ's sufficiency. The seeds of discontentment will wither and die before they can take root.

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”-Philippians 4:11-13

For what or whom are you thankful today? Tell them. Tell us- join the conversation!

This is post #12 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October!