Tuesday, March 30, 2010

too much of the good life?

“God is my shepherd.
I don’t need a thing!”
Psalm 23:1

Ok a LONG post but worth the read I promise. 
This last week one of the things the study I attend focused on was contentment and the chapter in the book I’m reading talked about it too. Coincidence, I think not. Whenever I see different events in my life aligning together, patterns I didn’t create myself, I know its God arranging things on purpose because He has something to teach me and He wants to make sure I get it.

To be honest I had never really thought about contentment/discontentment too much. I never considered being discontent a big deal. In group we talked about how Satan uses discontentment to distract us by putting our focus on “if onlys”, if only I had this or that I would really be happy. Our entire focus on life becomes reaching the status of “the good life”-money, expensive cars, designer clothes, etc. And this is so true! At first when I was listening to all of this I thought, well I’m not discontent with anything in my life. But when I really thought about it I realized I am, and it happens often.

Micah is doing this new thing that drives me crazy! I’ll make him a nice meal and no matter what it is, it could be an ice cream sundae, wouldn’t matter he won’t be happy with it. My reaction to this is probably something I’m sure you’ve heard growing up…"there are other kids all over the world who don’t have anything to eat, so you need to thank Jesus that you have food in your home and a mommy to make it for you.” So I thought about this and I realized I do the same thing. Every day when I’m cleaning my house I find myself thinking –“this paint in this room is so bad, if only we had these colors.” Or “if only I had these paintings, or these curtains, then I’d really love this house.” I’m being discontent too and not even recognizing it. Instead of thinking of all the things I want, I should focus on all the things I am blessed with and be grateful.
I’m not saying that wanting things is bad. It’s just when it starts to consume you to the point where you are continually restless until you get the next best thing to make you happy, it has become deadly. It’s deadly to your spiritual life and fatal to a content existence in this world. From what I’ve seen in this culture too much of the good life seems to almost on all occasions be toxic to living a fruitful life for God.

Being content is a choice-I'm going to believeThe Lord is my shepherd (He’s going to take care of me) I shall not want (I won’t be lacking a thing.) I just have to train myself to look at things differently. If I store up thoughts of discontentment it’s eventually going to spill out of me. Matthew 12:34 “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” I want praise for all the good (which it ALL comes from Him) to come out of me. I want to make the choice to be content and thankful for what I have. 

Some things to remember...
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out of it.”
 -1 Tim 6:6-7

“A relationship with God cannot grow when money, sins, addictions, (if only’s) are piled on top of it.” -Francis Chan

"When you reject the pull of our consumer culture to grab after more for yourself, and instead say ‘I have enough. I choose to step down from selfishness and use what I have to bless someone who has less,’ then you’re lifted up, and you find true significance in our treasure." -Mark Connelly

(photo from here)
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