What is the Remedy for Discontentment?
Introduction: The word "discontentment," as such, is not a common word in the vernacular of the Bible. Let us, then, look to "content," a recurring word. The verb, two adjectives, and one noun translated "content" in the New Testament collectively mean: "able, satisfaction with what one has, sufficient in oneself, and adequate" (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine). Hence, discontentment is really dissatisfaction and a sense of inadequacy.
I. Many are increasingly discontent.
A. It is believed that money and health are the answer to discontentment.
B. However, Americans have more money, and material things and are generally in better health than they ever have experienced; yet, few are content. Young and old alike are restless, dissatisfied, and are experiencing disturbance of mind. The wise man exhausted the following areas in seeking fulfillment and contentment but to no avail:
a. Secular knowledge (Eccl. 1: 16-18.
b. Physical pleasure (Eccl. 2: 1-3.
c. Architecture (Eccl. 2: 4).
d. Agriculture (Eccl. 2: 4-6).
e. Materialism (Eccl. 2: 7-10).
C. His quests were extradinary but the answer to contentment was not found in these pursuits (Eccl. 1: 16-18, cp. 1: 14, 2: 11).
II. Some biblical facts about contentment, the remedy for discontentment.
A. Contentment is a command (Heb. 13: 5, cp. Lk. 3: 14). While God does not desire that we be without ambition and goals, he does teach us, "and be content with such things as ye have" (Heb. 13: 5).
B. The Christian knows the uncertainty of all that is material; thus, he does not build his life on such fleeting matters (Jas. 1: 9, 10, Read portions of Guy N. Woods comments on James 1: 9, 10, A Commentary on the Epistle of James, by Guy N. Woods).
C. Most of us expect too much in life. Therefore, when we do not realize all the "extras," we are discontented. Paul wrote, "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (I Tim. 6: 8). Besides, what we do or do not have does not determine if we are content (Phili. 4: 11, 12).
D. Contentment is not common because it must be "learned" (Phili. 4: 11).
III. The Christian, above all, should know contentment.
A. The reason for him experiencing adequacy and ability is because of his relationship with the all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the world (Heb. 13: 5, 6, Phili. 4: 11-13).
Conclusion: "But godliness with contentment is great gain " (I Tim. 6: 6).