Sunday, February 20, 2022

Five Steps to Being Discontent

On Wednesdays, Mom and I are watching Elisabeth Elliot messages on YouTube. First we viewed the "Suffering Is Never for Nothing" series on the Ligonier Ministry channel. After that I discovered the Elisabeth Elliot Foundation channel, where Elisabeth's granddaughter posts a message each week. (Hooray!)

In "The Vitality of the Crucified Life: Chasing the Wind," Elisabeth read the five steps to discontentment, according to Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).

They are:

  1. Perceive a deficiency in your present situation.
  2. Imagine another state of change and happiness.
  3. Oversimplify the imagined state without any undesirable features.
  4. Work to attain that dream.
  5. Discover that no improvement has come after all; nothing has materially changed.
That got me thinking. If those are the five steps to discontentment, might there be five steps to contentment? Perhaps I may propose these:
  1. Perceive a deficiency in your present situation.
  2. Offer it, and yourself with it, to your Lord and Savior, and imagine that He can bring change and happiness in your present state.
  3. Overimagine the heavenly glory ahead of you, which will finally be a home and life without any undesirable features.
  4. Work with all the energy He works into you to believe and prepare for that dream. Fix your eyes on the unseen, eternal splendour awaiting you, and rejoice that the deficiencies in the present are light, momentary, and actively generating that future bliss.
  5. Discover that much improvement has come here and now, though nothing has materially changed.

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17–18, ESV).

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Colossians 3:1-5, 12-14, ESV).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.