Philippians 4:10-14 (HCSB)
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity ⌊to show it⌋.
11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret ⌊of being content⌋—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.
13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.
It has taken me a couple of months to work up to writing this post. I don’t like to admit how far I still have to go…
So, two months ago or so I had to confess to my wife that I had committed adultery against her by stealing a glance at a woman to check her out. You might say, “What’s the big deal?” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart before I stole the look and told me not to do it. Then He spoke to me again after, driving home that it was adultery – lusting after a woman in my heart, no matter how briefly.
I confessed to my wife, and she forgave me, much to my relief (Satan had been trying to convince me that it would be the last straw in destroying our marriage). However, she also looked me in the eye and said, “You’re discontent.”
That rocked me back a bit. It shed a new light on the verses above; contentment goes beyond food and money and station in life. It also has to do with delighting in the wife of my youth, and lust, and pornography, and gluttony, and every aspect of my life. When I confessed the adultery to my wife, I was telling her that she is insufficient, that she does not measure up – that I am not content with the wife God gave me. That is huge!
Not long after I was in a group of men, and someone brought up one of the sayings I’ve heard too often. Talking about pornography and his wife, he said something along the lines of, “I told my wife, it’s not about her…” I think someone else agreed, and then I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I was compelled to say something like, “You’re wrong – it is all about her. You’re discontent!” and proceeded to share my recent failure and what my wife said.
It was not something anyone wanted to hear, but we all need to hear anyhow. It is imperative to admit (to ourselves and to God) that when we look at pornography, or other women, or fantasize, or masturbate, we are telling our wives very clearly that they are not good enough, that we want something/someone else. Then we stand back in disbelief that our wives take it so personally…”But, honey, it’s not about you – it’s about my own sin…” Right. Do you seriously believe that drivel?
Discontentment is rejection of God’s provision, a lack of gratefulness! I was struck a few days ago by:
Romans 1:18-23 (HCSB)
18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.
20 For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.
Did you catch what I never saw before? God’s wrath comes against not just those godless, unrighteous people who suppress the truth and refuse to glorify Him…it is also because they do not show gratitude! That is the very opposite of being content! I am right there in the same passage, by all rights, when I fail to be content with the food on my plate, the money in my pocket, the wife of my youth – whatever He has given me that I set aside to seek for…more.
I hope you take some time to take inventory of your own life. Are you content? Or, are you like me, and inviting the wrath of God with my lack of gratitude? Wake up, and smell the coffee.