Contentment That Conquers Coveting - The One Year Salt and Light Devotional

Contentment That Conquers Coveting

James 1:16-18

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. (James 1:17, NIV)

MOST PEOPLE ARE DRIVEN by discontent and unaware of that fact. But if we analyzed our motives, we would realize that they generally come from a focus on whatever is missing in our lives—the void we want to fill, the problems we want to fix, the glass that is half empty. We rarely recognize the things that are going well in our lives or make strides to do so. No, we aim for the unfinished items on a never-ending to-do list of trying to make our lives complete. In the process, we keep our gifts and successes in the back of our minds and miss out on the gratitude and satisfaction we could have.

The problem-solving side of our nature has its benefits, but it also contributes to one of the many cultural antitheses to the Kingdom of God: discontentment. Scripture frames this issue more broadly as covetousness—the perpetual desire for what we don’t have, whether it is material, relational, emotional, or anything else. In fact, it is the subject of one of the Ten Commandments, possibly the “thou shalt not” we tend to ignore the most. Encompassing much more than greed, covetousness leads to constant dissatisfaction and steals gratitude from our hearts. It causes us to fit seamlessly into our culture.

A heart full of gratitude and contentment not only transforms our lives, it also undermines a culture of covetousness and points to the Father of blessings. The world around you needs to know this Father. Its citizens are looking for something to fill the empty places in their hearts, not realizing that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father who has made all things. A mood of discontentment—in another heart, in a room, in any social environment—can be broken by the quiet songs of gratitude echoing in a content believer’s heart. Be that mood-breaker. Change the culture. Point to the Kingdom of blessings already given.

{Father, open my eyes to the blessings you have poured into my life. Give me supreme satisfaction in the gifts you have given, the love you have shown, and the fullness of my relationship with you. May others see your goodness in me. Amen.

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