shopping in a mall showing lack of contentment

The Danger of Discontentment

By Chip Ingram

Are you content with what you have in your life?

For many of us, this is a difficult question to answer “yes.” We are living in a culture where every commercial and every magazine and every advertisement tells us we need something more or better.

Those old shoes you have? They aren’t good enough.

Your car? It’s not good enough either.

And you don’t want that house – it has a kitchen sink that isn’t in style anymore.  

Your clothes? That skirt you’re wearing isn’t short enough, and next year it won’t be long enough.  

As a result, most of us have closets full of stuff that we don’t wear. Our houses and garages are full of things we don’t use. Our problem? We’ve confused contentment with the amount of money we have or stuff we own.

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By contrast, the Bible teaches us that:

“…godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6) 

God doesn’t promise everything will turn out great and if you follow Him you’ll be wealthy. Sadly, a lot of Christians believe this.

But the fact of the matter is, walking with God, knowing God and loving God – when there is a sense of supernatural sufficiency in Christ – is a great gain. 

Our gain is not necessarily in the monetary or material sense, but in the spiritual.

Why is this true?

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. (1 Tim 6:7) 

All of us come into this world as little, naked babies, possessing nothing. And when we die, we leave with nothing. This is true for a 100 percent of people.

If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that(1 Tim 6:8)

If we have food and clothes to keep us warm and a roof over our heads to protect us from the elements – this could be a tent, an RV, a house, a condo – we’ve got all we need and can be content. If God gives us more, that’s great, but with Christ, that’s all we need.

What are the dangers if we believe we need to continue to pursue more stuff and more money?

The Apostle Paul warns us:

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim 6:9-11)

Money promises power, position, popularity, and self-image. It tells us that people will love us and we can be significant. But the truth is, if you chase money in order to be content, it will only plunge you into destruction. It’ll alienate you from God and others.

Little by little, it will strangle you.

One day, you’ll wake up and find that you’re far away from Christ and your priorities are out of order.  It will probably affect your marriage as well, as we know that 60 percent or more of most marriages that fail are due to some financial issues.

Discontentment is dangerous

It is a deeply, deadly, powerful, ruthless enemy that wants to destroy your physical life, your emotional life, your family life, your spiritual life, and take your soul!

But it doesn’t have to. It is possible to be completely content in this life, by the power of the grace of God through your relationship with Christ.

So, where are you at today?

To find out, begin by asking yourself: Am I content? And to what extent does the enemy of discontentment have a hold on me?

To learn how you can break the grip of discontentment in your life and better trust God with your finances,  check out some of our resources by Chip Ingram, including the series, I Choose Peace, and The Genius of Generosity.  

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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