Battling Discontentment

I don’t hate my job, but some days I get frustrated. Like, really frustrated. After a bad day as a tech support agent, I find myself grumbling that I shouldn’t even be here. It was supposed to be an entry-level, temporary position — a placeholder until my “real life” began. Well, turns out, God had other plans.

Maybe you understand all too well what it’s like to be in a situation that doesn’t exactly knock your socks off. Sometimes we all feel like our daily lives are a boring, desert wasteland. “My job just isn’t important enough to make a difference,” I think, “Paul told us that whether we eat or drink to do everything to the glory of God, but his calling really was for the Glory of God, while mine seems to be ‘answer the phone and bear the brunt of strangers’ anger and plain meanness’. What does tech support have to do with my ultimate great commission which is to live a godly life and lead others to christ? What gives?!”

Discontentment is a judgement call on our situation. It’s a dark fog that obscures our view of God and encourages all kinds of dangerous attitudes, including doubt, envy, and grumbling. The truth becomes smaller and smaller, while evil thoughts of the heart become larger and more looming.

So what do we do when these thoughts plague us?

I understand that when these thoughts strike, it’s almost never our first instinct to cry out to God. But God’s light scatters the dark and disorderly thoughts. It helps me to methodically run through four simple truths:

  1. God is good, faithful, and true (Ps 107:1; Jn 14:6; 1 Cor 10:13)
  2. God loves me and desires to teach and correct me (Heb 12:1-13)
  3. God hates grumbling (Num 14:26-35)
  4. My appropriate response is to God is thankfulness and praise (1 Thes 5:18; Ps 106:1)

Our feelings are fleeting and a natural result of our brokenness.  David’s prayers were nothing short of human: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps 43:5). So don’t beat yourself up over your shortcomings, God knows. I like to think of these are life preservers that won’t let you sink while you make it to higher ground.

More ammo:

  • Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature… and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col 3:5,9)
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord (James 1:23)
  • Do everything without complaining or arguing (Phil 2:14)
  • The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees (Psalm 25:10)
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4)
  • For the word of the LORD holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust (Ps 33:4)
  • O Lord, Your loving-kindness goes to the heavens. You are as faithful as the sky is high (Psalm 36:5)

Whatever your brand of discontent may be, I’m praying for you, friends. Remember to cast everyone on Him because He cares for you!

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