Battling Discontentment

There is something about Winter that tries to make me discontent.  I think it’s the part where I stay cooped up in the house all season long because I don’t like to drag my family out in the cold.  When I’m stuck (by choice) at home, I have more time to look around and notice all the things I’d like to change–to think about all the things I’d like to do or to buy–and I start to become discontent.

Discontentment is a hard thing for me to admit, because I neither want to be discontent nor have I any reason to be discontent.  God has blessed me with all that I need and more, and to respond with anything less than utter gratefulness and contentment seems so… ugly.  I have already been given so much more than I could ever deserve.  How dare I seek for more?

As the Bible instructs in Hebrews 13:5a, I want to “make sure that [my] character is free from the love of money, being content with what [I] have.”  I know that “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and [that] some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10); and I know that I must flee these things, pursuing not the things that money brings, but pursuing instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness (see 1 Timothy 6:11).  These are the things that profit.

I often instruct my children that when they are about to complain they ought to instead think of something for which they are thankful.  This week, I am going to purposely practice what I preach.  When I am tempted to express a lack of gratitude by longing for a Winter getaway, I will instead thank God for a steady job and a warm home.  When I am tempted to feed discontentment by shopping for new storage solutions, I will instead thank God for a pantry full of food and supplies and closets full of clothing.  (“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:8).)

Forgive me, Lord, for my grumbling.  Forgive me for my ungratefulness.  Keep me from the love of money, and help me to always be content with what I have.  You know what I need even before I ask You (Matthew 6:8), and You have promised to never desert me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  In You I trust, and to You I am thankful.  You are all I need.

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