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Insights from Genesis 3 - Part 3

3. Discontentment

Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”

How “blessed” Eve and Adam were! They had everything to taste and enjoy in the world God created for them. They had all the freedom to eat the best fruits from all the trees in the garden and had only one commandment to obey, i.e. not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, Eve didn't remain content with all that God had given her and craved for something more which was forbidden. She forgot all the best she received from the gracious hand of God, and instead, focused on that one thing she didn't have. She failed to acknowledge, “God has given us the best and I am content with what I have.” She allowed dissatisfaction to reign her heart. Make a note—discontentment was the ruination of our first parents.

What about us? Even today the devil is taking advantage of people’s dissatisfaction by luring them into unwanted things. No wonder many are chasing things that are forbidden by God. The mankind is in misery because there is no contentment. Solomon observed it well, “All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied” (Ecc. 6:7). How disillusioned people have become in seeking to satisfy their passions and appetite! Never forget, the vast sea has boundaries but there are no limits to the desires of our heart. It may be easier to empty the mighty ocean than to fulfill our heart’s desires. To try to satisfy our passions and cravings is like chasing after the wind.

We Christians succumb to devil’s temptation when we remain dissatisfied with the few things we don't have when God has blessed us with countless blessings. It is the devil’s pleasure to see us regretting for things that we do not have than rejoice for the things we already have. When it comes to earthly things, therefore, the Holy Scripture exhorts, "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" (1Tim. 6:6-9).

The Holy Bible teaches us that if we have the basic necessities of life we have everything to survive and to be happy on earth. Some are discouraged with God because of unanswered prayers; they didn’t get what they wanted. Well, we need to understand that God did not promise to satisfy our greed but to provide all that we need (Phi. 4:18-19). So whenever you are tempted to doubt the faithfulness of God, ask yourself, “Did God fail in providing me the basic necessities of life?” And remember, do not allow what others possess to direct your life and prayers. Solomon made an apt statement, “And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecc. 4:4).

Do not imitate the world, for the world is obsessed with materialism. As the world is advancing and so are people's cravings. Success is defined by what you gain, not with what you remain. But who are the blessed, successful and happy ones according to God’s word? Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are content with physical things (Matt. 5:6; 1 Tim. 6:6-9) Sadly, rather than being content physically and craving to grow spiritually many are physically discontent and spiritually complacent. I fear the things that are below are dominating our lives more than the things that are above (Col. 3:2).

In the place where I live we have a chain store named, “MORE for you.” I don’t know with what intention that name was kept but that speaks a lot about what people are seeking today. People want MORE sex (outside marriage), MORE money, MORE pleasures,
MORE power, MORE fame, MORE food, MORE comfort, MORE things, MORE prosperity, MORE and MORE and MORE ... Do we realize the tragedy of discontentment—the more we get the more we become desperate to get more? True joy is not in receiving what we want but in being content with what we have.

Now, added to the struggle of innate greed is the prosperity teaching which triggers more craving for the things of the world. This dangerous teaching is making many Christians carnal, selfish and greedy. Instead of giving up everything to follow Christ people are following Christ to get everything (Lu. 14:33). In these last days, without becoming victims of these false teachings which infiltrated the church we have to discipline the desires of our heart and make it submissive to God's Word. In doing so, we resist the temptation of the devil to be discontent. When we feel dissatisfied, consider all we have and thank God for His mercies that never cease. This keeps us from grumbling, greed and from ingratitude. We need to learn the prayer of George Herbert, “Thou hast given so much to me…give me one thing more
a grateful heart.”

Finally, we are well aware of the saying, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb 13:5). I see this verse hanging in many houses. But did we consider the context in which it is written? Please read the preceding words, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb 13:5). In other words it implies, “Don’t live a discontent life because God is all-sufficient.” Yet, how many Christians are living a discontent life because they just believe in God but are not satisfied by having Him who is all-sufficient? Remember, we are created by Christ and for His pleasure, not for the world and for its pleasures (Col. 1:16). Our ultimate satisfaction is in living for the pleasure of Christ, not in getting the pleasures of the world.

(To be continued.....)

(Previous reading - Part 2)




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