I am writing on the book, “The Art of Divine Contentment,” by Thomas Watson. I’ve learned a lot about myself in this book and how I have let discontent sometimes rule my life.
Mr. Watson writes that the first sin in the universe came from discontent. Lucifer and his angel friends became discontented with their stations.
“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—“ Jude 6
Lucifer (Satan) was quite dissatisfied with his place in heaven. His discontent turned into rebellion against God – though God had done nothing to him.
“How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn! (Lucifer)
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
When Satan met Eve in the garden, he told her God was withholding a wonderful thing from her, the knowledge of good and evil. He said, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Eve must have felt some discontent in not having the same knowledge as God. She must have wanted what God had and decided to get it. So, she believed God was a liar and sinned against him.
In his book, Watson says that discontentment leads to every other sin. Every single one!
I thought about myself. I thought about the years I had been so depressed, suicidal and lonely. Was that because of discontentment? Yes, it was. I could see it clearly. I was discontented with my past, with my childhood all the way through adulthood.
I was angry I had a mental illness, that I wasn’t like other people, that I couldn’t work without having a breakdown, that my husband and I didn’t have what other people had because their wives worked and they had extra money. I was not content with this life God had given me. I thought I had suffered too much. That it wasn’t fair, that God wasn’t fair.
Yes, I was the epitome of discontent. I was its poster child. I was no better than Eve, or heaven-forbid, Satan himself. Whoa. Scary.
So, this week, I had been feeling down and upset and didn’t realize why. I asked myself, “Are you discontented about something?” Yes, I was. I didn’t like it that my mom was in a nursing home instead of with me. I felt terribly sorry for her that her memory was bad now. She couldn’t read, watch TV or walk any longer.
Mom had told me she had wanted to die, but she didn’t die. She told me she hates being in a home. She told me she is angry, helpless and hopeless. I felt sick when she said these things. I don’t want this kind of empty life for her either.
But, during this, I did remember how when I trust God I always find there is a very good reason for everything that happens. I’ve been trying to give all my feelings about Mom to him. He has been helping me a lot. But I need to do it every day, or the discontent will creep up on me and I’ll be depressed and angry too.
I believe Mr. Watson is right. All sins do come from discontentment. Now that I know this, I will talk with God about it, pray about it and because God is my Savior and partner, I believe I will gain the victory over my discontentment.