Perspective for when you walk through discontentment

A while ago something happened that bothered me a lot. It wasn’t a huge thing, but I reacted like it was. Two of my children were in the living room playing around while I was spending time with the third one.

Suddenly, I heard a loud crash, followed by one of the children saying “why did the curtains fall?” I was like, “what just happened?” It turns out that the brackets that held up the curtain rod had broken right off the wall.

Sadly, I jumped to conclusions and assumed the children had broken it.

They hadn’t.

Imagine how awful I felt.

Later, I was doing some painting. While I was painting, I reflected and talked to God about why I had reacted that way.

You know what I realized?

I had let discontentment creep in.

I had been comparing the things I don’t like about my house to other people’s homes on Facebook and Pinterest. I had been comparing my home to homes that I visit when I see friends.

I had been comparing my life to what I see around me. Mine wasn’t exactly measuring up.

In this day and age, there is the opportunity for comparison everywhere we look.

It’s almost impossible to avoid.

From social media to church, to malls, to the neighbors down the street, to body image, there is probably something that we can all find about our lives that we are less than happy about.

Yet, we need to ask ourselves, “What is it we are really worth living for?”

Are we living to be in better shape, take better trips, have everything we want?

Is life really about the years that we live on this earth?

What about eternity?

I’m sure that each and every one of us that believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ would say that we are living for eternity.

In all honesty, my house looks nothing like I’d like it to look. No, it’s not a horrible home, I just have a lot of ideas that don’t often get fulfilled.

Here’s the thing; when we allow our focus to be on what isn’t right in our lives, we forget who we are really living for.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

When you and I give our lives to Christ, we are surrendering our entire lives to him. When we do this, we don’t need to worry about what isn’t going exactly the way we want. If our focus is on Christ alone, our houses won’t matter as much. Our bodies won’t matter so much. Whether our kids measure up or not won’t matter much.

James 4:14 (NLT)  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

This life on earth is but a vapor. It is nothing in light of eternity. It is here today, gone tomorrow. If we are truly living for eternity, we will recognize that this life here is short.

If you’ve never seen this Francis Chan illustration on eternity, I encourage you to watch it. It was life changing for me.

Discontentment is a joy stealer.

It can make us think that God doesn’t really love us because he doesn’t give us everything we want.

I’ve heard it said that “God isn’t to be treated like Santa Claus.” There is great truth in this.

God never promised us that serving him would be easy.  He also didn’t guarantee that we’d get everything we want.

Today, I want to challenge you to work on a perspective change.

You may not have everything you want, but you have Christ.

Your house may not look the way you’d like, but you have a family who loves you.

Your weight may not be where you’d like, but you’re alive and breathing.

You may not have all the money you’d like, but you probably have food to eat.

It’s about a perspective shift.

1 Peter 2:11 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls.

We aren’t meant to live as part of the world. We are meant to live in the world as lights for Christ. If our focus is on living as a light for Christ before having everything we want, our perspective tends shifts from discontentment to thankfulness.

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