I always assume discontentment will present the same way.
I expect to recognize it easily, cause I’m sort of a dramatic person.
This is the face of discontent Fabs:
I’ve made ‘discontentment’ this drastic emotion that only presents as raised fists against God, when really it is simply the absence of contentment.
Discontent Fabs might hide behind any one of these faces:
Every single one of us wears discontentment differently.
To spot it, we’re going to have to find out what contentment is and then look to where that’s lacking in our lives:
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. -Jeremiah Burroughs
SWEET, INWARD, QUIET, GRACIOUS FRAME OF SPIRIT…
Contentment isn’t a denial of pain and hardship. It feels the fullness of what’s hard about a situation, and yet at the same time feel the fullness of the joy of trust.
So discontentment could look like:
- numbing the pain of a situation by resolve or self-help mantras
- repressing the pain of something by logic of why the pain is silly
- a murmuring against God in the typical portal of discontentment
- An external sense of trust in God, with pushed down corners of your heart that grow bitter toward Him, or just slowly and devastatingly withdraw from trusting Him.
Contentment is something we long for, delight in and choose through God’s Spirit, which means discontentment might look like:
- resigning yoruself to God’s will as if He is a puppet master or an employer
- as if it is a burden to do what He wants
Contentment is naming God as Lord. It’s a willingness to yield to the fact that He’s the creator, He’s the King and we live to serve Him. Which defines discontentment as any attempt to try to get above God; to rule our own lives.
Look for symptoms of:
- anxiety, which refuses to believe that God has things in hand and that His way is best
- planning more than praying
- Over thinking situations to come so that you can get ahead of any circumstances that might come.
All these things are ways of rejecting contentment.
If submission trusts God’s sovereignty and lordship, delight in God trusts God’s wisdom and kindness.
Contentment is both. Discontentment:
- treats the life of a Christian as martyrdom not a joy
- secretly believes that when God says He wants our good He means that He wants our misery
- fears to enjoy anything because God will surely snatch it away
- assumes that God is looking to steal blessing from us
…IN EVERY CONDITION
Contentment can occur in any and every condition. No matter what is happening, no matter how long it goes on – true contentment will find itself at home.
Lots of us would be okay submitting to ‘anything’ in theory, but in practice, it’s sort of a different story. We have 2-3 things clutched behind our back: not these God! Anything but that!
Those are the very places where contentment is carved out.
Discontentment is filled with excuses and promises.
“If I knew that I would be single forever, I would be free to settle into it and be content.”
“As soon as God brings my child home, I will be able to focus, serve Him and be satisfied.”
“Of course I can’t submit to a husband who isn’t praying faithfully!”
Discontentment excuses itself from deep joy and satisfaction until God meets a certain condition.
It promises God deep joy and satisfaction if He will answer a certain request.