I have never been so happy to stand on my bathroom counter and clean the light fixtures. And here’s why.
Discontentment. Anyone? Everyone? We all fight it—don’t we?
I mean, unless we have the perfect job we want, with the salary we deserve and the dream home that is always as clean as we imagined. Do you have a clean car parked in an organized garage? Are we all content with our fit and healthy bodies, that fit in our unlimited wardrobes, accessorized with the most current trends? Oh? Just me? Am I the ONLY one that occasionally rides the struggle bus?! Okay, I agree – so far it all sounds so vein and materialistic. But, we sure fight it don’t we? It shouldn’t matter, but some days feels like it’s all that matters.
If I am not stepping on your toes yet, maybe I will go a little deeper past the materialistic surface… let’s talk relationships. Ouch. Comparison? Don’t go there. Never any discontentment with raising children, or still figuring out how two are supposed become one. And the older we get, the more pressure we put on ourselves about how life is “supposed” to be.
So, here the deal, discontentment has been around since the beginning of time. Thanks, Lucifer. He was the worst. His selfish discontentment and desire for more led him to rebellion, which ultimately cost him his role and position in the Kingdom.
How about Eve? That woman could have had ANY of the fruit from ANY of the trees, except one— just ONE!!! Just one to avoid in that entire amazing garden of peace and perfection! And the discontentment drove her to actually believe God was withholding something good from her. Discontentment in Eve opened the door for sin to enter the earth.
This wrestle with discontentment is nothing new. But today I want to show you a different perspective. It’s possible that discontentment can be good. Powerful. Productive. Often, discontentment is birthed from something pure and healthy; maybe it was originally rooted in the desire for improvement, or a genuinely good idea. For these situations, I like to think we have a case of “situational discontentment.” A situation we can improve, fix or address. If quickly addressed with powerful ownership, discontentment can actually bring about positive and meaningful change or progress.
My personal experience? Last Saturday I was discontent with my bathroom, so it motivated me to spend time deep cleaning, mopping, scrubbing and even painting. I immediately felt much better! For real, it was so rewarding! That discontentment produced something worth while.
This is a positive example of when discontentment can drive us towards positive change and results. And the ripple effect of addressing it can be meaningful.
But, discontentment can also bring pain. It can be the pain of change or the pain of staying the same. The difference in outcome is correlated to how you handle it. Be powerful.
But what happens when this doesn’t work? When discontentment drives us negatively and we find ourselves feeling powerless, then we zone out and wait for someone else to fix our problems. Discouragement sets in, so we feel it’s hopeless and like everything is outside our control. In these times, our nature turns critical and complacent… bitter and entitled. Suddenly, being discontentment is dangerous because it went from situational to spiritual. Spiritual discontentment is a pit. And nothing good ever happens in a pit!
More real life examples…. cleaning the bathroom one Saturday was good, but the VERY NEXT week, I was back in the pit again. In what felt like 0-60, I was critical about the yard, the disorganized laundry room, the started-but-not finished projects…. It was overwhelming by 6am! The pressure of this pit was suffocating me and toxic to those around me. Poor Jake!! No handy man in town could have helped me out of this mental mess. The list was too long, and I was impossible to satisfy. Why? Because I let a situational discontentment go UNCHECKED. I let my mind run away to a negative place and very quickly I was in a spiritual battle. What I needed wasn’t a completed honey-do list, but rather an attitude adjustment.
Jake listened to my “list” and let me air it all out- and then he simply spoke the honest truth of… “Honey, we are blessed. You are in a pit and you need to just change your mind and get out. I can’t fix this.” He told me he was willing to try, but that nothing physical he could do would fix my spiritual problem. Mic drop moment. I could have paid big bucks for that counseling session.
When life (or your husband) teaches you a meaningful lesson, hold it tightly and let God work it into your heart. It’s possible the wisdom can create change.
So? Now what? We identified that spiritual discontentment is a pit. How do you get out? I can tell you what doesn’t work— trying to fix it with stuff. Imagine trying to run up a rocky, sandy hill. It usually doesn’t work well, the incline is too steep and you can’t get any traction. People end up grasping for straws and expending energy, resources and effort without making meaningful progress. Behavior modification doesn’t work. Trying to BE good, trying to DO good, trying to ACT right… it just won’t work. Well, not for long enough to sustain true victory. Buying stuff won’t fix it either. Changing jobs? Churches? Spouses? Nope. What will work? Contentment. Gratitude. Settling your spirit down to find the balance of contentment is an inside job. Soul peace; it’s yours to pursue, and yours to protect.
For me- I needed something sure to get my footing. I needed something solid to climb my way out… I decided to climb out of my pit with 2 things:
1) the Truth of God’s Word and
2) the decision to be grateful. Those are solid places to set my foot upon and climb!
When I feel the suffocation of discontentment trying to take me back to the pit, I will be wise to the enemy’s devices. I will start to count my blessings and declare the goodness of the Lord! I will use my mouth for good and not for harm! And I will (on purpose) use the Word to build myself up!
This article is a little too long- sorry! (You can tell this is meaningful to me- a battle I will still fight, but a war I have won!)
In closing, next time you feel discontent- check yourself. If it’s situational and you have the power to change it- go for it! Be the change you need in your little corner of the world! But if it’s spiritual, I challenge you to fill up your empty places by counting YOUR blessings and pouring the Word into your heart! Here are some verses to get you started! 💕 I believe we have the power to live with joy; to be content in ALL circumstances!