Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
A lady attended church who was always grumbling and moaning about something. People got sick of her attitude.
One day her Minister had a bright idea. He knew she was a farmer and it was the finest potato crop around, so he thought he would encourage her and bring her a bit of happiness: “You must be very happy, Mary; everyone is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year”, he said. But out came her sad reply: “True, they are pretty good. But what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs?”
I thought this is a good illustration of a discontented person, and that’s what I want to talk about today. And here’s the question, are you discontented with life? And what does it mean to be a discontented person?
It means a restless longing for better circumstances, a lack of contentment, or being dissatisfied. There is a sense in which there is always something missing in my life, and I’m never satisfied. And when you look around, this disease of discontentment is an epidemic in our culture today. One psychologist calls it “chronic discontent”.
It’s like a man who walks into his garage and looks at his car which is less than two years old and thinks it’s time to buy a new one. Or the lady who opens her wardrobe full of clothes and says “I have nothing to wear”. Or “I need a new TV, because my friend bought one last week”. Some employees are not content with their work situation, like the guy who complained to his boss because he missed out on a promotion: “Don’t you realise I have 25 years’ experience?” “No you don’t.” his boss said. “You have one year’s experience, repeated 25 times”.
A Restless World
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a promotion provided you’ve done the work. But if there’s an unreal sense of never being satisfied, you’re asking for trouble. Doris Mortman wrote this: “Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have”. Our world shouts, “Things bring happiness and contentment! A little more money will solve all our problems!” Problem is, it’s not true. If so much of your life is spent on craving more, you will miss out on other things that are worthwhile.
A little girl was talking at the meal table. Her father was grumbling away, so she said to her mother, “I know what everybody in this family likes. Johnny likes hamburgers, Janie likes ice cream, Tom likes bananas, and Mummy likes chicken”. Dad was annoyed because she hadn’t included him- ‘what about me? What do I like?’ She said “you like everything we haven’t got”.
Is that why we love technology so much? I think so, we feel we cannot live another day unless we have the smartest phone or fastest internet connection. We crave the instant connection with friends, whereas we used to phone or write to them. New technology forces us to be always chasing the new. Perhaps it’s right what Henry Kissinger once said, “To many, tragedy is wanting something very badly and not getting it. But many of us have had to learn, that perhaps the worst form of tragedy is wanting something badly, getting it, and finding it empty”.
Only God Can Satisfy
But did you know there is a God-shaped vacuum inside each of us that only He can fill? The Bible makes it very clear that when God created man, He wanted them to be in a relationship with Him. And inside me and you is a capacity to communicate with Him, to be connected with Him in spirit. Until that happens, we will feel disengaged or discontent.
Because nothing else will ever take the place of God through His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, and wants to share life with us.