“The sin of discontent is very witty with its apologies” (Thomas Watson).
I sometimes think that since I have read enough over the years about contentment that surely I must be doing it. But then God opens my eyes to some discontent that has not only slipped into my heart and mind, but has positively set up shop there. Usually I have been listening to myself complain or worry about something, and the quickest way to be free of the discontent is to replace the complaints with gratitude.
A new difficulty or affliction or hardship takes us into new territory, opening up new possibilities for discontent, or giving us new opportunities to learn to be content. You were doing just fine until…
A new family moved in next door and their dog is barking all hours….or they park their car in front of your house….or the kids are always in your yard….or…..
My friend has broken a confidence….or has never returned my phone call….or forgot my birthday….or….
I had to empty out my savings to pay my taxes….and now I can’t go on vacation ….or buy the new furniture I was wanting…or..
You get the idea. What seems to me to be something that I am perfectly right to be indignant about turns into a discontent that begins to fester until I am noticeably unhappy. Then when I go looking for the culprit, it’s actually not the neighbor or the friend or the taxes causing the problem but my very own heart. The happy news is that my heart can repent and be cleansed. And this new cleansed heart is much more comfortable to live with.