Is discontentment a sin?
It might be indistinctive of all Christian qualities, except maybe for humility, contentment. For some reason or another, we all experience it. When we realize we are discontent about something in our lives, we think about and make a fuss over it and then we just brush it off after a day or two. However, I have come across some folks that never brush it off. Really, how long can you stay discontent about something and never do anything about it? To tell you the truth, many don’t do anything about it. They stay in a miserable state and remain unhappy for a duration of time or maybe some never escape the monster grips of discontentment.
Eventually, this discontentment can become a spiritual problem. Our spiritual state becomes faulty and it kills our spirits.
What is discontentment? In the dictionary, it is a longing for something better than the present situation and contentment is the experience of satisfaction and being at ease in one’s current situation.
So, you are the judge, which one fits you? Many of us don’t take contentment into consideration because we are so used to it. Well, let us see…
We are not naturally content. In our fallen nature, we are naturally dis-content. We are not content because we are always playing out in my mind the “if only” scenario of what could be our life.
- If only, I had more money or more …
- If only, my children were better…
- If only, my friends were nicer to me
- If only, I had a boyfriend or husband that looks like that…
- If only, my spouse was…
- If only, I lived in a nicer home or have a …
For in the old nature the “if only” are endless. In our self-gratification, we tend to think that a change in circumstances will bring us joy and contentment. The apostle Paul waged this frustrating internal war as well. In Philippians 4, he tells the church there that he had “learned the secret” of being content in any and every circumstance.
Is there a secret to this?
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Also, many use Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” as a verse we typically use to make ourselves feel better. People can accomplish almost anything if their minds can perceive it (this is a New Age concept used selfishly for one’s own gain instead of the sake of the Gospel) because of Christ: “I can do all things through him (Christ-the anointing) who strengthens me” this is for the accomplishment of Yahweh’s will and His kingdom – it’s good to know that Father will strengthen us as we follow His instructions. It’s not for us to use freely on our own agenda as we do business, but His. However, as we do His will and are obedient, He will bless us in our own personal journeys.
The 10th commandment forbids discontentment—covetousness.
Why is contentment so important and why is it so difficult to understand? It is important first to understand how deeply sinful is our discontentment. In light of the 10th Commandment, it shows the lack of contentment.
DISCONTENTMENT COMES WHEN WE FOCUS ON WHAT WE LACK OR DESIRE
For example, the story on Moses & Salves (murmuring) only Joshua and Aaron made it to the promises land. So, let us look at what discontentment can cause us.
Discontentment is mistrusting God. Discontent is the opposite of faith.
Discontentment amounts to complaining against God’s plan. As the world puts it, “I love me, me, and me, and I have a wonderful goal for my own life.” Discontentment exhibits a desire to be unrestricted. Like Adam and Eve, we desire to taste the tree that will transform us into supreme kings. Discontentment covets something God has not given us. He gave us His Son; therefore, can we not trust him for the trivial things? Discontentment obviously communicates that God has made a mistake. Our present circumstances are wrong. I will only be content when things change to my desires. Discontentment denies the wisdom of God and exalts your own wisdom. Discontentment was at the heart of the first sin. “Has God really said?” That’s the question at the heart of all our discontentment. Remember the story of Adam and Eve? Discontentment, a hindrance to Spiritual Growth. It is an emotion that belittles us spiritually. It is directed against the Lord. If we are discontented with His will for us, then we’re not going to grow in our faith.
Can we say then, that DISCONTENTMENT IS A SIN?
The temptation to sin usually begins with discontentment about who we are or what we have. Remember Genesis 4;7?
Genesis 4:7 NIV, If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Sinful actions always arise from ungodly thoughts and attitudes. An ungrateful, discontented spirit is an open door to unholy behavior, causing us to turn our backs on God and take matters into our own hands. We don’t have to yield to the temptation to be discontented with everything.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world” Phil. 2:14-16. “Do everything? Yes, that’s what God’s word says.”
WE CAN’T BE GODLY AND DISCONTENTED – CONTENTMENT MOST BE LEARNED
The apostle Paul learned to be content. He wrote, “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” (Phil. 4:11-13). He said the secret to being content is knowing that Jesus Christ gives us the strength we need to do whatever He wants us to do. The secret of being content in believing that Jesus is sufficient.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God… 2 Corinthians 3:5
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 2:9
What matters in life is our souls and our relationship to God. Christ’s death and resurrection is our only hope. The Hope may be our most powerful possession. It is what makes us grow and thrive. Without it, we won’t flourish, we die. God is concerned about us, as our Father, and nothing happens to us apart from His will. Even the hairs on my head are numbered. He is wonderfully sovereign. He is good and he delights to give good gifts to his children (Matt. 7:7-11). God’s will and His ways are a great mystery, but I know that whatever he wills or permits is for our good. Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Whatever our conditions may be at this present moment, they are only temporary, they are passing, and they can never rob us of the joy and the glory that ultimately waits for us in Christ. 1 Peter 1:4, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God bless you, always.