Jeanne Takenaka

How do we deal with discontentment when the world pushes us to always want more?

When I was a girl, Christmas was a highlight of my year. Or rather, waking up Christmas morning, hoping those dolls and clothes and toys I couldn’t live without would be wrapped and tagged with my name. And though I received some of the items on my Santa list, others still remained unfulfilled.

A white bird with its feathers ruffled...a visual for how we sometimes feel with we deal with discontentment

And isn’t that how life is? We find our hearts yearning for more. Whether it’s new clothes, a remodel on the house, a different car, a “new do” for our hair. It’s far too easy to become wrapped up in having something we don’t have. 

7 Surprising How To's to Help Deal with Discontentment— It’s far too easy to become wrapped up in having something we don’t have. #tellhisstory #dealwithdiscontentment #contentment Click To Tweet

True story: this year, I have been eager to move. In my weaker moments, I yearn for a newer house with updated appliances, a pretty interior, peaceful colors, and ambiance. I started evaluating why I’ve wanted this so much. 

Y’all know this year has held many challenges. Part of me feels like, if I can just find a new home to start over in, everything will be better . . . right? The thing is, even if we had plans to move this year (and we don’t), the problems, the struggles, the heartaches will follow me. 

A stream flowing over rocks with rocks and sticks kind of chaotic...this is how we sometimes feel when discontentment rules in our hearts

And yeah, as much as it would be fun to decorate a new home and find new walking paths, a move will not fix my problems. It won’t heal my heart. 

When the “pretty things” this world allures us with loom attractive in our eyes . . .

When they entice our hearts to crave them . . .

We must choose to redirect our thoughts to Jesus. 

The world tempts us to believe God hasn’t satisfied us. He hasn’t met our needs. The world’s aim is to draw us away from our Father. When we are tempted to complain to Him that He hasn’t given us enough, we need to take action to change this.

7 Surprising How To's to Help Deal with Discontentment—When we are tempted to complain to Him that He hasn’t given us enough, we need to take action to change this #tellhisstory #dealwithdiscontentment #contentment Click To Tweet
A bench on a rise over a raging river . . . when we deal with discontentment we can know the peace that comes by facing it and not be swirled in the river

How do we deal with discontentment?

We all face discontentment. How do we deal with it?

If we’re fighting discontentment

Determine why we want something we don’t have. Sometimes knowing the why behind the want helps us to better understand ourselves. This also encourages us to be honest with our Father about where our hearts are.

Consider where we are seeking satisfaction. If we want something God hasn’t given us, are we seeking satisfaction from some lesser thing? From something less than God?

Start a gratitude list of what we have. When we stop to consider all God’s given us in our relationships, in our situations, in the stuff we own/get to use, this helps us redirect our focus. Choosing gratitude also reminds us that God’s meeting our needs and many of our wants. 

Meme that says: "We need to choose to trust God, that His plans are good for us, even if hIs definition of 'good' differs from ours." On a backdrop of a decorative bench in front of a stone wall

Mindsets to grow in contentment

Trust that God gives us what He knows is best for us. If He hasn’t given it to us, we need to trust that it’s not best for us, at least not right now. We need to choose to trust God, that His plans are good for us, even if His definition of “good” differs from ours. 

Guard against allowing that thing you don’t have to become an idol in your life. If we become upset with God for not giving us something we want, this can grow into a wall between us and God. 

Remember God’s character. God is faithful. Our Father is is good. He is a personal Father. He is the God of love. Remembering who God is helps us accept when he says “No” or “Later” to something we want now. 

The big truth is this: we are loved by the Creator of the universe. When we understand that He loves us perfectly, passionately, and completely, it’s easier to accept where we are and what we have. Trust plays in here too. 

A door opening to a scene of mountains in the distance . . . a visual of how we feel when we deal with our discontentment by trusting God to take care of our needs and give what's best for us

Benefits of Choosing Contentment

Satisfaction with what we have gives us peace. When we give discontentment the upper hand—we crave something God’s chosen not to give us—we may find ourselves striving to get it. Or striving with Him. We find ourselves justifying why we deserve to have it. Our thoughts become consumed by that thing we don’t have. 

A peaceful stream reflecting trees, some with fall color . . . visual for the peace that comes when we choose to trust God over striving with discontentment.

Perhaps discontentment has always been a human challenge. Eve wanted to be like God. She wasn’t content with the Garden God placed her and Adam in. She wasn’t content with Adam. Eve wanted more. 

God knew that fruit wouldn’t be healthy for her. When He chooses to withhold something, will we trust He knows more about how that item will impact us than we do? The answer to this question can help us deal with discontentment. When we choose to trust God more than trusting that we need that thing, we can live in peace

A peaceful scene of water reflecting reflecting clouds, a visual for the stillness we can know when we deal with our discontentment by trusting God with it

By the way, as I grew into adulthood and Christmastime rolled around, physical gifts took a back seat to the gifts of presence with loved ones. As we head into this holiday-filled time of year, let’s deal with discontentment and choose to look to deepening our relationship with God more than we look for the things we want. 

What about you? When you have struggled with discontentment, what has helped you? What helps you to remain content?

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