Content or discontent, which tent are you in? It’s a hard question to ask yourself. Several years ago my wife and I were talking about something and our daughter looked at me and asked “dad, which tent are you in content or discontent?”. This stopped us both in our tracks. Now, she didn’t come up with that question on her own. I think she was listening to Damon Thompson and heard him say this, I’m not sure. We can’t remember anything other than this question.
Discontent is seemingly the American way. Companies spend billions of dollars in marketing campaigns to keep us wanting the next greatest thing. The more they advertise the more we want it. The better they make it seem the more we think we deserve it. The desire to want everything new is driven by greed, jealousy and pride. All three lead to being discontent with what you currently have.
Being discontent leads to depression when you can’t afford to get what someone else has. The more advertising we see the more we want and the more we spend the less we can afford. I’ve heard people lament on how depressing it is that they can’t have what someone else does. I’ve heard others say they will not stop until they have earned enough to get whatever it is they think they deserve.
People become discontent with their families when they focus on what their coworkers family looks like or the families portrayed in magazines, T.V. and movies. They become discontent with their spouse after watching porn. They see what they don’t have and compare it to the reality of what they do have. They often don’t stop to consider that what they are seeing in media is not reality.
Men have said if their wife only looked like this they would be happy. If their kids only made these grades, had these stats in sports, had this kind of job, was built like so and so they would be happy. Wives have said the same thing. Both have said if only they did this I would be happy or if we lived here and drove this we would be happy.
The truth of the matter is none of these things will make you happy. No change in your situation to reflect your current desires will make you happy. You are not happy because you are not happy with yourself and you have not learned to be content. Until you learn to be content everything you get will eventually seem old and inadequate in favor of something new. The moment of satisfaction is fleeting.
Scripture tells us to in Philippians 4:11 ” not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned that whatever state I am, to be content.”
1 Timothy 6:6-9 states ” Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 states ” Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.What can mere people do to me?”
Where do we find this kind of contentment? It’s only found through a close relationship with Christ. When you are more concerned with doing His will then your desires you lose sight of all the foolish things that distract us creating useless wants and desires. When you are content with what the Lord has given you, you become a threat to the enemy. He wants you discontent chasing useless things and accumulating staggering debt that prevents you from having true freedom. There is an old proverb that says the borrower is a slave to the lender. If you don’t borrow you can’t be a slave to Visa, Master Card, Discover, Amazon, GMAC, etc…
Discontentment is from the devil. It makes you complain about what the Lord has given you, not appreciating it. It causes division and discord in churches, work places and families. To get the devil to leave you, you must draw near to the Lord for him to leave you as taught in James 4:7. The devil won’t flee, won’t leave you alone if you just say no. It only works if you draw near to God. Drawing near to Him and being thankful for what you have, what he gave you is where you will draw contentment and happiness.
I ask you again, which tent are you in? Content or discontent?