Thursday Reflection

8th October 2020

'lead the life ...'

17 Only let each person lead the life
   that the Lord has assigned to him,
   and to which God has called him.

1 Cor. 7:17

24 in whatever condition each was called,
   there let him remain with God.

1 Cor. 7:24

Ever since the beginning of creation,
when God created the first creatures,
there has always been someone,
unhappy with his position
in the universe.

It all started with an angel named Lucifer,
the brightest star of heaven,
who was not satisfied to be
the highpoint of God's creation.
He wanted something more than
his assigned position
as the greatest of all created beings.
His seething discontentment
caused him to lead a rebellion
against his creator.

One-third of the angels
joined with him in his failed quest
to overthrow the throne of God;
for his rebellion,
he and his followers
were kicked out of heaven.

Ever since that dark day,
he has been known as Satan
and 'the devil',
and he has been the relentless foe
of God and all his works.

Discontentment that made him do it;
and discontentment has been one
of his best weapons ever since.
His earliest triumph came
in the Garden of Eden
when he sowed seeds
of discontentment in Eve's heart.

By misquoting God,
he made Eve think that God
was somehow trying to cheat her,
to keep her from becoming "like God",
so Eve took the fruit and ate it;
she gave it to Adam and he ate it;
and so sin entered
the human bloodstream.

Discontentment brought about rebellion,
which led to the loss of paradise
and the entrance of evil into our world.

Ever since then
we have been an unhappy people.
After Eden we have never been
fully satisfied with anything on earth;
and we're still not satisfied
thousands of years later;
we always want something different,
something better.

¤ If we're young,
   we want to be older.
¤ If we're old,
   we wish we were younger.
¤ If it's old,
   we want something new.
   If it's new,
   we want something newer.
¤ If it's small,
   we want something bigger.
   If it's big,
   we want something even bigger.
¤ If we rent a house,
   we want our own.
   If we have a flat,
   we want a house.
   Or maybe we want to scale down
   and live in a bungalow.
¤ If we have a job,
   we dream of a better job,
   a better boss, more challenge,
   more opportunity,
   more money,
   and more free time, etc etc..

None of this is unusual in any way,
we were born discontented
and some of us stay that way forever.
And a certain amount of discontentment
can be good for us.
It's not wrong to have dreams about
what the future might hold
for ourselves and our families.

The hope of something better
drives us forward
and keeps us working,
inventing, striving,
creating and innovating.

But there is a kind of discontentment
that leads in a wrong direction,
dragging us down spiritually:
Envy, uncontrolled ambition,
a critical or complaining Spirit.

That type of discontentment eats away our joy,
corrodes our happiness
and colours our outlook on life.
We cannot be happy because
we will not allow ourselves to be happy.
We cannot be satisfied
because we will not allow ourselves
to be satisfied.

Such a person is truly a lost soul;
so unhappy and making others
around them unhappy too.

So how can we overcome
this crippling condition?

The first letter to the Corinthians
chapter 7 contains some amazingly
helpful insights about discontentment
even though the word itself is never used.
Paul advises:

Serve God where you are
until God clearly calls you elsewhere.

It's not wrong to better yourself
but more money or a new position
doesn't necessarily mean a better situation.
God will let you know the time
to move and where he wants you -
Seek God first.

That's the key to knowing God's will;
by working with him,
knowing that he wants
the very best for us
that is the key to happiness.