Confession 412: The Lure of Discontentment–40 Days of Decrease

Your way of life should be free from the love of money, and you should be content with what you have. After all, he has said, I will never leave you or abandon youThis is why we can confidently say,

The Lord is my helper,
    and I won’t be afraid.
What can people do to me? 

Hebrews 13:5-6 (CEB)

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It’s not enough…

This is the thought that went through my head as I was lying awake at four A.M.  I was mentally calculating the amount of a recent paycheck versus the amount of medical bills I needed to pay, taxes I needed to prepare for and vet appointments I needed to make.  (It was thanks to the dog I was lying awake anyway.)

Lord, I said, It’s not enough.  

Do you know what God said to me in that moment?  Go to sleep!

In the middle of the night, when everything is quiet and still, it’s easy to fall prey to the Enemy’s murmurings and mutterings of discontentment.  Satan worms his way into our thoughts and attempts to disrupt our harmony with God by casting doubt and creating fear so that we’re lured into a place of anxiety and feel as if what we have or who we are is not enough.

In those moments when we are swept into the Adversary’s web of untruth, we forget that where we may perceive not enough, God stands resolute and says, I AM enough.

One of the most challenging fasts in Alicia Britt Chole’s 40 Days of Decrease is the fast of discontentment.  The truth is, our culture thrives on discontentment.  Companies profit from our belief that we don’t have enough.  Case in point, I have two pairs of Converse sneakers sitting in my closet and am actually contemplating a third.  Why?  Because I don’t have Harry Potter ones.

Discontentment isn’t just about consumerism.  Discontentment goes far beyond our desire for more stuff.  Discontentment encompasses about how we feel about ourselves, and how those feelings are then transferred to others in ways that are unkind, ungracious and unloving.  Discontentment with who we are leads us to be jealous, bitter and judgmental toward others we perceive as having more or being more than we are.

Discontentment kills relationships.  We’re so consumed with how we feel and our perception that our needs aren’t being met that we completely ignore the needs and feelings of others.

In short, discontentment robs us of joy and leaves us exhausted and unhappy in the never-ending quest for more.

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Throughout Scripture, God tells his people time and again that he is enough.  When the Israelites wandered in the desert and wondered how they’d eat, God said I Am enough.  When they faced the towering walls of Jericho and wondered how they’d breach them, God said I AM enough.

When Mary questioned the angel who spoke God’s beautiful words of salvation she wondered how it was possible.  God said I AM enough.  When Peter wondered how he could walk on water and not sink, Jesus said I AM enough.  When the disciples wondered how they were to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout Judea and Samaria and the world, the Holy Spirit said I AM enough.

This is the same message God speaks to us today.  When the Enemy lures us with thoughts of discontentment, God stands beside us and whispers, I AM enough.

Today, I would encourage you to join me in fasting discontentment.  As Chole writes:

Refuse to allow discontentment brain space.  Each time you are tempted to picture your life with something else or something new or something different, stop.  And redirect your mental energy to thank God for anything in your current reality for which you can be grateful. (pg. 138)

Thank God for being enough.

Blessings and Peace,