To be Content or Discontent? That is the Question.
Have you ever been a part of a campaign for awareness? The chances are, you probably have. It seems like every month I’m hearing of a new cause that’s surfacing to combat a social justice issue. For example, did you know that August is National Immunization Awareness Monthor that the first week of August was World Breastfeeding Week?
Why do we do these awareness campaigns? Why does everything need a day or a week? It comes down to one simple truth.
Awareness is the enemy of contentment.
This is why every cause has a campaign for awareness. If people don’t know about the problem, why would they ever be motivated to pursue a solution for that issue? The more aware you become of something, the less content you are with the way it is.
Although awareness breeds discontent, neither contentment nor discontent are the real enemy here. They are both powerful tools, especially when used correctly. But in the wrong hands, with the wrong motives, they can wreak havoc on your life, the people you love and our world you live in.
There are basically Two Types of Contentment:
Contentment From God breeds confidence in who you are based on who God says you are. This kind of contentment strips you of a performance-for-acceptance mentality and replaces it with confidence and worth in Christ. The results are things like less worry and more peace in your life. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Contentment From the Enemy produces a false sense of self-sufficiency. It’s the kind of contentment that says, “I don’t need anyone. I’ve got this and although there is plenty of hurt and suffering happening around me, I’m not going to do anything about it because it does not directly affect me.” The results are things like selfishness and blame.
But there’s also Two Types of Discontent:
Discontent from God is often described as a “Holy Discontent.” It’s the idea that they are not as they should be and you might even say you have a longing for justice. I would actually submit that’s a longing for heaven and the Kingdom of God where justice will be made complete. (Revelation 21:3-7)
Discontent from the Enemy reflects things like the Comparison Trap or as most people call it, “Keeping up with the Jones’.” It’s the kind of out-look that prevents you from appreciating the good in your life because you’re always trying to get the next best thing.
Just by pointing out these few things, you are now more aware. And since awareness breads discontent, I’m praying you become discontent with the right kinds of things and find more peace in the right kinds of thing. The main question comes down to, “Who are you listening to?” Because your values, goals, outlook, and attitude are greatly impacted by those you choose to listen to.
Your friends determine the quality and direction of your life.
Once you gain clarity on these things, you’ll have the contentment that comes from God, the “peace that surpasses understanding.”
As the Apostle Paul puts it in his famous and ancient letter to the church in Philippi…
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:6-9 NLT
Micah Foster, Lead Pastor