By Annie Yorty, Crosswalk.com
by Annie Yorty
“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one is affluent does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15 NASB).
The seat warmers felt amazing. I never dreamed a warm tushy would feel so good. We normally purchased cars without many bells and whistles. Those were not necessary, and I figured money could be better spent elsewhere. Seat warmers seemed like the ultimate luxury. But that fall when we unexpectedly found ourselves in the market for a new-to-us car, God provided one with seat warmers.
As temperatures began to drop overnight, my morning drives were more comfortable than I had ever thought possible. I reveled in the toasty hug from my seat even as the heater still blew lukewarm air.
It’s too bad the steering wheel is so cold. It should be heated too. That complaint popped into my head one morning as I pulled out of my driveway with my rear on fire. It had only been two months since I had been driving Essie. (Yes, I admit it, I name my cars.)
Shocked by my own thought, I immediately chided myself. Where did that come from? How quickly you are dissatisfied! Thankfully, the Holy Spirit quickly convicted me of my sin, and I confessed it to God. But my short-lived pleasure in God’s good gift reinforced to me the default position of my wayward heart.
I am prone to discontent. Jesus warned us of this tendency in the parable of the rich fool found in Luke 12:13-21. We usually focus more on temporary and worldly issues than on critical, eternal matters. And what exactly are those things that cause us to slip into grumbling and wanting something more or different?
It’s easiest to identify discontent with belongings. The “perfect” home seems run-down when compared to our neighbor’s. Our wardrobe becomes inadequate when we wear the same items repeatedly. The bank account now looks puny when we desire a dream vacation. The parade of advertising we view on media whets our appetite for more and more possessions.
But there are also more abstract sources of discontent. Have you ever groaned over your appearance? Too fat . . . or too thin. Wondering why you couldn’t be just a few inches taller. Wanting your hair to be straight. Wishing it had more curls. Wishing you just had hair! Does someone else always seem to look better than you? Our world’s emphasis on outward appearance often drives these complaints.
What about love and relationships? Are you single and longing to find a spouse? If only you had a soulmate, then your life would be complete. Yet married people experience discontent too. Your co-worker’s wife looks like a model. Couldn’t your own wife take a little more care with her appearance? A friend’s handy husband always attends to home maintenance and car repair, while yours can barely identify a hammer. Another’s spouse finds time to plan romantic dates with chocolates and flowers while yours is lucky to produce a card on your birthday.
We sometimes wish for what we don’t have spiritually too. God distributes spiritual gifts to His children for His own glory. But what do we do? We wish for a gift He did not give to us. We count some gifts as more valuable than others.
The writer of Hebrews also reminds us about contentment, connecting it to God’s presence. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever abandon you’” (Hebrews 13:5 NASB). He says we should be content because God promises He will always be with us. That is the Father’s default position with His children.
The more we appreciate the richness of God’s presence in our lives, the less discontentment we will experience. Then we can use, but not depend on, the possessions given by God. We can enjoy God’s good gifts but revel more in our Benefactor. Even when a temporal blessing is removed, we can still rejoice as the One who gives and takes away fills any void.
As my warm bottom will testify, more of anything else will never satisfy.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Is God bringing to mind any area of discontent in your heart? How will you come into His presence to experience satisfaction and joy more fully?
Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Boonyachoat
Annie Yorty uses her writing and speaking to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. Please connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.
Parenting in this day and age is not for the faint at heart. That’s why Mama Take Heart is here to help you be the gospel-centered, compassionate, and influential voice in your Gen-Z daughter’s life. In this show, we give listeners the tools they need to love and lead well in their child's formative years. Host Robrenna Redl is here to help equip and empower you with resources and practical takeaways, whether you’re looking for ways to intentionally connect or to have hard conversations. So don’t fret, Mama. Instead, take heart!