We’ve been striving toward the goal of contentment throughout the summer, but I dare say, there is one area of our lives where we must fight contentment and purposefully remain discontent. There is a realm where there is no excuse, or room, for contentment.
As Paul taught we must learn contentment in all of our circumstances – the things around us that continually change — however, as Christians, we are not to be content concerning our sin. There is no sin that we should cherish or protect; all sin should cause overwhelming discontent… if we are Christians.
Are you a Christian? Christianity is a choice, we don’t drift into it, nor do we inherit it. We are all born sinners – that is our natural state. We are born spiritually dead, under the power of sin, and we live in spiritual darkness. There must be a recognition of sin and a discontent with sin – a discontent that reveals our need for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Thomas Watson puts it, “A sinner, as a sinner, is under the power of Satan, and shall he be content in this dreadful estate! Who would be contented to stay in the enemies’ quarters? For a man to be in debt, body and soul; in fear every hour to be arrested and carried prisoner to hell – shall he now be content? O get out of this condition! There is the smell of the fire and brimstone upon you!” – The Art of Divine Contentment
No one need remain in this discontented state:
“ ‘I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” – Acts 26:18 NIV
“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NIV
Once we have believed on Jesus and received salvation, we must not allow ourselves to grow content in our sin. Salvation is not an excuse to freely sin. Our sin must shock us and propel us to godly sorrow.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
Worldly sorrow does not lead to repentance, restoration, or reconciliation; it leads to death. When discontent with one’s circumstances degenerates into self-pity, despair, depression, and eventually death – death of relationships, of self-esteem, of joy, of perspective, and of hope – worldly sorrow often accompanies it and brings along regret.
Worldly sorrow doesn’t fix or resolve issues; it just buries them until the enemy decides to dig them up and use them as ammunition against us. Worldly sorrow is full of regret and remorse but it is void of restoration and reconciliation.
Godly sorrow flows from a heart that eagerly and earnestly desires to clear one’s self of wrongdoing with confession, repentance and apology. Godly sorrow works toward forgiveness and restoration.
Confession and repentance lead to restoration and reconciliation with God and with people; and that leads to contentment and joy. Godly sorrow generates a heart that listens to God, seeks his perspective in all circumstances, and agrees with him regarding sin.
We cannot let the tears of worldly sorrow blind our eyes such that we do not see God waiting for us to come to him for forgiveness. We cannot let worldly sorrow draw us away from the God who loves us and sent his one and only Son to die for us.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. “– 1 John 1:8-10 NIV
We cannot let worldly sorrow hamstring us in our walk before the Lord by distracting us with self-pity so that we no longer see the harsh reality of our sin. God wants us to be discontent with our sin – he wants a heart that is penitent, sorrowful, and remorseful – a heart that is contrite.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17 NIV
As you seek contentment in all things will you commit to be discontent with the sin in your life? Will you ask God to break your heart over the things that break his?
Click here for week 1 — “Not That One, That One!”
Click here for week 2 — “Contentment Defined!”
Click here for week 3 — Tool #1: “Search The Heart”
Click here for week 4 — Tool #2: “Remember That Life Is Short”
Click here for week 5 — Tool #3: “Listen To Your Words”
Click here for week 6 — Tool #4: “Compare Wisely”
Click here for week 7 — Tool #5: “Live Out Your Faith”
Click here for week 8 — Tool #6: “Enjoy Your Pasture”
Click here for week 9 — Tool #7 “The Promises of God”
Click here for week 10 — “When Discontent is the Right Thing”
Click here for week 11 — “In Defense of Discontent”
Click here for week 12 — “Breaking Bad: The Danger of Discontent”
Click here for week 13 – What’s Next
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