I have a Ford Explorer that I use for almost everything. I treat it like a truck, and it is my vehicle of choice for camping or trips to the beach. It’s got 220,000 miles on it, so it should be no surprise that I need new ball joints. Now that I think about it, I need a new radio and the driver’s seat needs new upholstery. In fact, if I were to go very far in it I couldn’t be guaranteed to make it there without the truck breaking down. The transmission feels like it may be slipping, and there is a definite squeal when I back up. The paint is chipping, and the door locks don’t work. I guess what I need is actually a new explorer.
I really could use that new explorer. In fact that would make trips with my family and our two dogs so much easier. We like to camp, and it would ensure that we could get there safely. Bummer, now I’m going to lose sleep because I don’t have everything I need.
I don’t really need a new Explorer. It would be nice to have, but it is a want. What I have to be careful about is that I don’t treat my wants like they’re needs.
As a society, I see an epidemic of discontent. People aren’t discontent with their lack of education or morality. What people are discontented about is their lack of stuff. People are discontented with their social status. People are discontented with their level of happiness. People are discontented with their spouse.
No wonder we have such a miserable society all around us…even in our own homes.
We teach discontent to our children when we give them everything they want. We practice this in our own lives with loans for things that we don’t need and can’t pay back. Discontent is the reason Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got into such trouble. Discontent is the reason the government is in financial crisis right now!
When we are full of discontent, we are miserable beings indeed for there is nothing that can truly satisfy us. Even if we get whatever it is that we covet, we will merely find the next thing to covet. If we are discontented with other people, then even if they change, we will find ways to continue to be disgruntled with them.
Let’s see how the Bible encourages us.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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)
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
As you can see, we are called to be satisfied with the situation we are in. We are warned about desiring the grass that looks so green on the other side of the fence. If that is our mentality we will never be satisfied.
We are called to “Seek first the kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) When we are consumed with Christ, we won’t have room for discontent with worldly things.
If you still choose to be discontented, be that way about injustice or sin in your life or the hurt in others. When you love God and others, your focus becomes much less selfish.
May you see the difference between wants and needs. May you look around and thank God for the place you are in and the family that you have. May you, like Paul, be content in every circumstance, and may we be discontented with the amount of sin in our lives and the world around us.
If you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me at 245-1611 or at jddobbs@Verizon.net. God bless you all!