My first job I stayed in for five years, and I have been at my second job for two years. I know many people have spent 10, 20, 30 years at the same job, but I also know many people have never stayed at the same job for more than a year or two.
I've been with the same man for 12 years, married for going on four years. Yet again, I know people have spent 10, 20, 50 years with the same person, but there are also people who haven't had a relationship more than six months.
Some people just have a temptation for discontentment. They see all the things wrong in their job --- their imperfect coworkers, the stress, the challenges. They see all the things wrong in their marriages --- their imperfect spouses, the stress, the challenges. And instead of just being content in where they are and dealing with what is truly just life, they give up and search for something else that will make them satisfied, but nothing will give them that contented feeling.
"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You cover and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." James 4:1-3
We look for contentment all around --- my marriage isn't making me content; my job isn't making me content; my money isn't making me content.
I have a pretty easy life. We are financially sound. We have a wonderful marriage and good jobs. We have a beautiful place to live and plenty of friends. I am pretty content. And so I should be.
But there are still places that I am discontented. I wish we could have new clothes, because we have realized our clothes are mostly about 10 years old. We get to travel to an exotic place about once each year and a half, but if I had what I wanted we would do it a couple times per year. I wish we could buy new windows, landscaping and could renovate our tiny kitchen. So maybe I'm a little more discontented than I think.
And that's not what I want. I am beyond blessed. Instead of so often focusing on what I wish we could buy, I have to look around and see everything we have. Because discontentment and unappreciation is sin. Paul Tripp says, "When we sin, we aren't just breaking God's law, we're actually breaking God's heart."
So I start off this blog by thinking how content I am compared to so many people. I have pride in my contentment. Then I start thinking about the places in my life where I am discontented, and I realize just how much I do desire and do sin in my longing for worldly goods.
Our deepest longings, which we think can be filled with material goods or good jobs or marriage, is really a longing for God that we fill with other stuff. And that other stuff is never enough.
"You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him is sin." James 4:13-17
We've been going through Genesis in church. And today the youth pastor preached from James, which just happens to exactly line up with what my Bible reading for the week was. Think God is trying to reiterate something to me? I'm thinking so...