Revive Me #39– Be Content

Revive Me, Week 39–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be Content

Discontentment keeps us from being satisfied.

  • The job you were thankful to land is no longer good enough.
  • Stay-at-home moms resent being stuck at home.
  • Moms who work outside the home grumble about never having enough time to get things done at home.
  • Preachers’ wives and elders’ wives resent the demands on their time or the time their husband gives to others.
  • Bible class teachers resent being stuck in the same classroom for years.

What once were viewed as blessings or opportunities to serve can become sources of disgruntlement!  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are God’s people and that should satisfy us (Psa. 65:4; Prov. 19:23).

Discontentment blinds us to the blessings found in Christ.

  • Hope and glory (Eph. 1:18)
  • Grace (2 Cor. 9:8)
  • Strength (Eph. 3:16)
  • Love and fullness (Eph. 3:17-19)
  • Might (Eph. 1:19)
  • Peace (Phil. 4:7)

Those who are focused on self find the flaws and see only inadequacies.  Even these blessings are no longer good enough.  Contentment reflects a heart that focuses on God’s blessings and trusts Him with the rest.

Discontentment is a sign of a weakened spiritual state.  In the passages that command us to be content, we see a direct correlation between our level of contentment and our relationship with God.

  • Heb. 13:5- Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He himself has said, “I will never desert you nor will I forsake you.”  Contentment is based on God’s promise to be with us.  He will never turn His back on us, and that should be enough.
  • Phil. 4:11- I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  How could Paul do that?  By relying on Christ’s strength (v. 13).  Discontentment happens when we try to rely on our own strength.
  • 1 Tim. 6:6ff- Godliness with contentment is great gain…If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  Paul goes on to write that those who long for more have wandered away from the faith.

Be content.  Who are you most drawn to…those who find fault and are never satisfied or those who are grateful and content?  When we choose to be content, we lift up the cross and draw others to Christ (John 12:32).  When we give in to discontentment, we keep the world from seeing the blessings of being in Christ (Rom. 10:12).

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities

Who heals all your diseases

Who redeems your life from destruction

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies

Who satisfies you with good things.

–Psalm 103:2-5

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  List the blessings found in these verses:  Rom. 15:13; Eph. 1:7,8; 2:7; 3:20; Psa. 119:165
  2.  If discontentment has taken root in your heart, determine the cause.  Have you become self-absorbed?  Have you allowed bitterness to color your thinking?  Are you caught up in the world’s mindset of always wanting more?
  3.  Read Rom. 12:2.  How is this verse tied to contentment?
  4.  As a parent or grandparent, focus this week on teaching contentment.  Be mindful of ways you might be inadvertently encouraging discontentment.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me, Week 7– Stop Complaining

Revive Me, Week 7– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Stop Complaining

“Stop”- to not do something that you have been doing before; to not continue doing something

That little reminder of the definition of “stop” is for myself.  I admit this challenge will be tough for me.  I don’t like to think of myself as a whiner or negative person and yet I realize that I have found ways to complain anyway.  I certainly have tried to justify it.

If I only complain to my husband, it doesn’t really count.

If I have a legitimate cause for complaint, surely it’s understandable.

I think I’ve even figured out how to disguise complaints.  I can word them in such a way that makes it sound like I’m only asking a question.  But complaining is complaining.  What’s the big deal?  Well, when I take the time to focus on Scriptures about complaining, I see that God thinks it’s a big deal.

“Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord, and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled…” (Num. 11:1).

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil. 2:14).

“Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged” (James 5:9).

“Be hospitable to one another without complaint” (1 Pet. 4:9).

In 1 Cor. 10, we read that God was not “well-pleased” with the Israelites.  “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved” (v. 6).  What “evil things” did they crave?  While they were in the wilderness, they were guilty of idolatry, immorality, and complaining.  “Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction…” (v. 10,11).  Twice in the text Paul writes that the behavior of the Israelites and their consequences are an example for us.  Is complaining really as bad as idolatry and immorality?  Yikes.  

I’m ready to remove complaining from my speech and my mind.  I’m ready to nip it in the bud.  I want need to set a better example for my husband, my sons, and anyone else who is around when I open my mouth.  I don’t want to sound like the world.  Even more than that, I realize that complaining comes from discontentment and ingratitude.  God’s children are the most blessed in this life and have still more to come in the next.  How can I waste my breath grumbling when there’s so much for which to rejoice?

Challenges for the week:

  1.  “Go 24 hours without complaining (not even once).  Then watch how your life starts changing” (Katrina Mayer).  Complaining is a habit.  Take the challenge, one day at a time!
  2.  Tell someone that you’re trying to kick the complaining habit.  Ask them to help catch you when you gripe.
  3.  Keep an index card in your pocket.  Every time you complain, make a tally mark.  See how you do at the end of each day.  Hopefully your marks will get fewer and fewer as you learn to catch yourself.
  4. Replace complaining with blessing counting.  When you think a complaint, voice a blessing instead.
  5. Read this excellent and convicting article by Erynn Sprouse.

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