Summary: Americans, the richest people in the world, are without a doubt the most discontented people the world has ever seen! Discontent is a sin that all too many Christians are enslaved to. This sermon deals with discontent.
No Longer a Slave to DISCONTENT!
Series: No Longer Slaves
February 17, 2019
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at email@example.com.
TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:6 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (Please keep your Bibles open to this text as we will return to it later in the sermon.)
The Bible says that being godly is not enough. Great gain in the spiritual sense is attained only when a godly person adds to his godliness a spirit of contentment
Contentment is defined as “satisfaction with what one has.” If that’s the case, then America is a country that has a massive case of discontentment. How ironic it is that though we live in the most prosperous nation on the face of the earth and in the history of the world, we still struggle with contentment.
John Cheever said, “The main emotion of the adult American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education and culture is disappointment.” (Leadership Journal)
Discontent is the driving force of our political divisions, it’s the main reason we go into debt unnecessarily, it causes people to resort to unnecessary cosmetic surgery, and feeds our incessant “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome.
Illus. – Some time ago there appeared in a newspaper a cartoon showing two fields divided by a fence. Both fields were about the same size and each had plenty of the same kind of grass—green and lush. In each field there was a mule, and each mule had his head through the fence eating grass from the other mule’s pasture. All around each mule in his own field was plenty of grass, yet the grass in the other field seemed greener or fresher, although it was harder to get. And in the process, the mules were caught in the wires and were unable to extricate themselves. The cartoonist put just one word at the bottom of the picture—“DISCONTENT”!
Actually, the Bible has a lot to say about satisfaction and contentment. God wants us to learn contentment, but it’s not something that comes naturally. It’s the nature of mankind to be discontent. Contentment is something that we must learn. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 – “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have LEARNED, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Paul had to learn content because it was not something natural to him.
How do you know when you are becoming discontent?—When you find yourself saying these two little words: “I wish…”—“I wish we had more money,” “I wish we had a bigger house,” “I wish we had a better car,” “I wish I had a better figure,” “I wish I had a better personality,” “I wish I had a better spouse,” “I wish I weren’t married,” “I wish I WERE married,” “I wish I had better parents,”—“I wish; I wish; I wish.”
When we do that, we put ourselves in spiritual peril because God REALLY does not like it when His people grumble and complain. When the Israelites complained about their hardships, Numbers 11 says God sent fire down from heaven. He literally got “fired up” over it, so to speak. Later, in the same chapter, it tells us that the Israelites were not satisfied with the manna God provided for them daily. No matter what God did for them, they murmured and complained. In 1 Corinthians 10:10-12, Paul said, “Neither murmur…, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed…. 11 Now all these things happened [to] them [as examples]: and they are written for our admonition…”
As you can see, grumbling and complaining really tick God off! Why does God respond so strongly to discontent?
First, because discontentment betrays a lack of faith.
It denies that God is good. It rejects the sufficiency of His provision for our needs.
Second, it shows an unwillingness to submit to God’s management in our lives.
It says, in effect, “God, You don’t know what You’re doing. You’re blowing it. I can run this show better than you can.”
Finally, discontentment reveals a deep ingratitude for God’s blessings. – Let’s take the Israelites as an example:
God had blessed them immensely by delivering them from slavery, by delivering them from certain annihilation by Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, and by providing all their needs over and over and over again in the wilderness. Yet they continually murmured and griped.
I would like you to note three areas in which God wants you to be content:
I. BE CONTENT WITH YOUR UNCHANGEABLE FEATURES.
It’s a good testimony to look as good as we can with what we have to work with. We should keep ourselves properly bathed and wash and brush our hair, and there’s nothing wrong with highlighting our looks or being stylish and so on.