What You May Be Missing by Nursing Your Discontentment

I couldn’t believe it.  secret-of-contentment (1).png

The house was huge.  

It seemed like the house covered much of the block.  I was in college working for a company based in the Dallas area. On the instruction sheet were directions to this home located in an exclusive part of Dallas.  I was going to the home of the daughter of the president of this company.   I didn’t know what was in the envelope.  I just knew that I was supposed to have it signed and return it.

I pulled the car in front of the house and walked to the service entrance and rang the bell.  A woman answered the door.  She apparently was a part of the domestic staff.  She told me to follow her.  We walked through a very long room.  I looked through the plate glass window to the outside and couldn’t believe how big the yard was.  Swimming pool, gardens, etc.  It was huge!

A woman was sitting on a couch.  She looked very somber.  She looked as if she had been crying.  I handed the brown envelope to her.  

It was then that I realized I was delivering her divorce papers.  

I thought about how quiet this house was.  It was a big house.  It was a beautiful house.  It was a house like no other I had ever been in.  Yet, here was this woman who was in tears over what was happening.

Later that afternoon, I got off work and went home to my parents’ house in southeast Dallas.  Compared to the home I had been in earlier, my parents’ home was modest, significantly smaller, and in a middle-class neighborhood.  I realized that my parents had something positive in their lives that I had not seen in that sprawling home.

Yet, during my lifetime so far, I had spent far too much time thinking “if only.”

If only I had a larger house.  If only I had more money. If only I had a better work situation. If only our church was better than it is.

Does this sound familiar to you?  

Some of us spend years wishing for more and never experiencing the joy of contentment.

“I have learned the secret of being content…” (Philippians 4:12).

What a statement regarding contentment!

Sure, (we think), contentment is possible for those who are living the good life.  Sure it is possible for those who seem to be doing well in life.  Sure it is possible for those who are not threatened by layoffs or bankruptcy.

Surely this can’t be possible for those who have problems with their children.
Surely this can’t be possible for those who wrestle with addictions.
Surely this can’t be possible for those who have a less than desirable marriage.

Or, you may have more than you realize. After all, through Christ, it is possible to experience a contentment that brings joy (Philippians 4:10-13).

Maybe instead of nursing your discontentment, you need to celebrate what you have in Christ.


Does this sound familiar? What has helped you with discontentment?  

What has helped you experiencethe joy of contentment found in Jesus?

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8 thoughts on “What You May Be Missing by Nursing Your Discontentment

  1. Coincidentally, this is the verse I shared as my Facebook status today. It has been one of my go-to verses through the years, and I rely on it when life seems difficult. I have found that, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, there is real joy to be found in His abiding presence. When I forget, this verse helps me to remember……and remembering makes all the difference!

    • Connie, thanks for these words. You are right. Remembering this reality does make a huge difference.

  2. Excellent thoughts, Jim! Thank you for sharing this. Like resentment, I picture discontent as a huge backpack filled with rocks strapped to my back. Unless I get it off, life will be more and more painful.

    Again, thanks!

  3. I completely agree Jim. I have to admit I wish I had realized this a long time ago, but thankfully God has made contentment possible. I think I finally realized that I could be miserable waiting for life to be perfect, or I could learn to be thankful for the blessings I already enjoyed. Contentment is soooo much better.

    • Deb, thanks! I relate to what you said about wishing you had realized this a long time ago. There are several realities that I wish I had realized much earlier. A reminder that our life is very much a journey.