Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Struggle

Well, one of my struggles. The one I am dealing with right now.

Ok, I am going to be brutally honest here.

I have been struggling with some feelings of discontentment lately. I have been looking at other people's (some friends, some acquaintances, and some people I don't even know) "stuff" or "things" or whatever you want to call it, and that monster called envy has reared its ugly head in my life. Again.

Geesh, I really thought I was past this. So obviously I'm so disappointed. In myself. With these bad habits.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.    Psalm119:36

I have even started complaining to my dear hubby. Yes I'm ashamed.

He works hard to provide for our family. And he is very supportive of me being a stay at home, home schooling mom. And I have actually had the nerve to complain about not having certain things. Yes... I am ashamed.

I am amazed at how fickle is this heart of mine. Just a few months ago I felt convicted to simplify. I've been cleaning out closets, going through cabinets, and clearing out toys and clothes and extra dishes, etc and taking them to the mission store. We have far too much stuff in our house. I know that.

And yet out of my mouth comes the words I didn't expect to hear. "We need a bigger house!"

What? I've gone from realizing that we have TOO MUCH, to thinking I need more space to put all this STUFF!

I guess I have not been guarding my heart as zealously as I should. Somehow, the worldliness has crept in...

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.    1 John 2:15

I know these thoughts are wrong, that they are lies from Satan. I try to combat them with the living, powerful Word of God.

Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.    Hebrews 13:5

Yes, I am really surprised that I am struggling with this. I really thought I had grown more in my relationship with the Lord...that I had come to realize that things are just that...things...possessions...straw...wood.

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?   Ecclesiastes 5:10

And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.    Luke 12:15

I thought God had inclined my heart to heavenly treasures, but somehow, somewhere along the way, I have allowed it to be turned back to worldly things. Things that will burn someday.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.    Matthew 6:19-21

So you see, I know that having a bigger house or more possessions or more money will not lead to contentment, but in fact will breed even more discontentment. I know this. I just don't understand why I'm struggling with it...

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.   James 3:14

So there. I've admitted the ugly truth. There is bitter envy in my heart. Ugly, unwanted envy. My prayer is that my loving heavenly Father will pull these bitter weeds of envy out of my heart, and that He will plant in their place the seeds of contentment.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.  Phillipians 4:11

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6


  1. There is a wonderful little book out there written by an old Puritan named Jeremiah Burroughs entitled, "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment." I highly recommend it. You can get it from Banner of Truth or Amazon, it's small and inexpensive, but a weighty (and convicting) read. It was written during a time when the people he was dealing with had lost most everything and everyone to the Plague.

    To put a popular and much-wrangled-out-of-context verse back into its context,

    Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:11-13 (written from prison)

    Our indwelling sin is something that we must do battle with as long as we are attached to this flesh package, but it is the mark of a child of God that one not only recognizes it but grieves over it and continues to do battle against it. This is what we are called to come alongside and encourage and pray for one another in and through - and oh, how I know that battle! I struggled for a long time about being discontented over a leaky roof when there are people out there who don't even have a roof! And I would literally covet a good roof. But Jesus is better (and He did, in His grace, grant me the gift of one). And the more we see our indwelling sin, the more it sends the child of God flying into the arms of Jesus, to see what He has wrought for you there, to be cleansed and changed and comforted by Him and the more precious He becomes. So let me also just encourage you with this:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    And Psalm 73.

    (a visit to wouldn't hurt either) :)

    In His Grip and in much Christian love,

  2. brings so much home....thanks for being real.

    that is something so often lacking. Jesus wants us to be real.


    I love you.


  3. "Jesus wants us to be real."

    Aye, though we are called to come and die, that we might live. Not to come as we are to stay as we are, but to live a life worthy of the gospel. We honestly face our sin, but once we see it we cannot stay in it. Jesus not just wants, but commands, us to be repentant.

    Martin Luther recognized this in the first of the 95 Theses that he nailed to the door: "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance."

    And such is the beauty of the grace of our God, that He grants His children that which He commands.


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