Discontentment — A Potent Vial of Poison

Posted: August 24, 2014 in Faces of Death
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I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.  Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.  Three times I was beaten with rods.  Once I was stoned.  Three times I was shipwrecked.  Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.  I have traveled on many long journeys.  I have faced danger from rivers and robbers.  I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.  I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.  And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.  I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.  I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.  Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.  Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?  Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?” (2 Corinthians 11:23b-29)

“How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again.  I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me.  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty” (Philippians 4:10-14)

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, ‘I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.'” (Hebrews 13:5)

“Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Discontentment; 1) a restless desire or craving for something one does not have. 2) a longing for something better than the present situation. 3) a dissatisfied, unhappy, disgruntled state.

Complainer; 1) one who is discontented with his lot in life

Thanks; an expression of gratitude towards someone who has helped you, given you something, etc.

Discontentment is a dark spiritual fruit of Pride, the sin found in Lucifer which led to the disruption of the heavens and war against God Almighty.  To be discontent is to be dissatisfied, unhappy and restless, believing we deserve more or better than what we have. To allow this poison to seep into our thoughts and hearts is to invite destruction and death into our lives, but it is a subtle, smooth poison, very hard to detect since it has no obvious effects at first.

Once infected, the discontented heart is easy to identify, as it is capable of little else other than complaining“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of–and that’s what defiles you” (Matthew 15:18)  The Complainer is sick to his core, poisoned and dying, poisoning others and taking them down with him; he is a danger to himself and others.

A person living in a state of discontentment never has enough, no matter what they have.  They cannot enjoy what they do have because they are consumed with desire for what they do not have.  They live with tunnel vision, aiming down their scope at the only thing they can focus on; and in the crosshairs of their sights are the perpetual “others” who have “fill in the blank”.

Discontentment -> Envy -> Bitterness -> Resentment -> Hatred, the progression of the poison.  Each of these stages are emotions/feelings and each of them can be acted upon with destructive results.  The person living in these stages justifies each stage in his heart with “I deserve better than…”

While things take place in our lives that may elicit complaints from us, living in a state of chronic complaining is one of the fastest ways to annoy God since complaining, at its roots, is really professing that we aren’t satisfied with God and we do not trust him.

The Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years because they would not stop complaining about their circumstances.  Where giving thanks would have ushered them straight into the Promised Land, their complaints against God kept them in their unsatisfactory situation for 40 years, at which point God ran out of patience and forbid them entry into the Promised Land at all.

They were barely out of Egypt when they started complaining that they were sure Pharaoh was going to catch up to them and massacre them (Exodus 14:10-12).  They watched as God saved them, only to complain 3 days later that they were thirsty (Exodus 15: 22-24).  Then, they complained that they were hungry and wished God had just killed them in Egypt (Exodus 16:1-3). God miraculously fed them dew, manna, and quail from heaven only to hear them complaining again for water (Exodus 17:1-7). While Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, fellowshipping with and receiving the 10 commandments from God, the Israelites again complained until they had a gold calf idol to worship in place of God Almighty, leading to a devastating judgment (Exodus 32). The trend of complaints continues on in the book of Numbers when the Israelites leave Sinai until Moses, in his anger, finally loses control and sins against the Lord, forfeiting his chance to enter into the Promised Land he had so faithfully worked towards. (Numbers 20:10-11)  This is one of the most significant examples in Scripture of how discontent complainers affect and even rob righteous people of their blessings.

THERE IS A REMEDY IF YOU’VE BEEN POISONED WITH DISCONTENTMENT

The remedy to the poison of Discontentment is Thanksgiving.  The human heart cannot be both thankful and discontent.  Thankfulness overrides discontent; it neutralizes the poison.  Thankfulness brings the proper perspective back into our hearts and checks the imposters of greed and envy at the door before they can sneak in.

Thanksgiving is the appropriate spiritual weapon that we wield against Pride and every dark root of Pride and it is the only way to overcome discontentment.   “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Each day, purposefully think of and write down 3 things you are thankful for.  Give God thanks for those 3 things and watch your life break free of the spiritual poison of discontentment.

“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!  Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before him, singing with joyAcknowledge that the Lord is God!  He made us, and we are his.  We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” (Psalm 100)

Poison Bottle

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