Contentment Devotion: “Why do we struggle with contentment?”

“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting.” (Romans 7: 7-8a)

Where does sin come from? In general, it’s produced by our sinful nature. But why do certain sins rise up in our hearts? Where does discontentment come from? If we apply what Paul says in these verses from Romans, it isn’t a stretch to say that as soon as God’s Word says, “Be happy with what you have,” our sinful nature immediately protests, “But what I have isn’t enough!”

Mike Westendorf once said, “Awareness drives our discontent.” As soon as we know that there is something out there that we don’t have, our sinful nature takes hold and says, “Then I want to have it.” When God says, “I’ve given you everything you need,” our sinful nature suggests that since God hasn’t given us everything, he must be holding out on us.

This isn’t God’s fault. It’s ours. It belongs to our sinful nature. And our only hope for dealing with it is to take it Jesus. To admit that we feel discontentment the moment he tells us to be content, and to surrender that sin to Jesus. Let him do with it what he does with every sin – carries it up to Calvary and pays its terrible price. A God who would do that for you can’t possibly be holding out on you. And he isn’t – he has eternity waiting for you. In Jesus, God has given you everything.

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