My husband says wisdom is the ability to learn from other people’s mistakes. Psalm 106 spotlights four mistakes that disqualified the Israelites from fulfilling their purpose. One of those errors was discontent. The children of Israel missed out on God’s best because they were always disgruntled.
Last week, we highlighted the first of three things we do when we are discounted: we complain. Today, we are going to look at two more behaviours that show how we really feel. When we are discontented, we constantly compare ourselves with other people.
Why did she get that promotion when I’m far more qualified? Why does my Pastor always praise other people but he never notices my hard work? Why is his business booming (even though he hardly prays) while I’m struggling week in, week out?
In Psalm 106:17, we are told that the ground literally swallowed up some levites who compared themselves with others. 250 Levites got together and confronted their leaders. They felt that Moses and Aaron puffed themselves up.
Maybe they envied the privileges their leaders enjoyed. Perhaps they felt they should be in charge. Whatever their issue, they did not like the fact that Moses and Aaron had been promoted above them.
When Moses responded, he seemed so sad that they showed such little regard for their role as a Levite. Instead of envying Moses and Aaron, he wished they had been grateful for the privilege of their own position. As a result, these men lost everything.
When we compare ourselves with other people, we will find ourselves in a pointless, negative rut. However, when we are grateful for our blessings and celebrate the successes of others, we will be able to enjoy life on the way to our breakthrough.
The third behaviour that exposes discontent is when we are constantly hankering after something. I’m not talking about a burning desire for more of God. I’m referring to those times when we start to resent what we don’t have.
The Israelites were fed up of God’s miraculous manna and lusted after meat. They started to resent the blessings they did have while they hankered after what they didn’t have.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were flying to the US. We had just come out of a horrible season in our church and I was exhausted. As we checked in for our flight, the steward told us that we had been upgraded to business class.
As I took my seat, I thanked the Lord with all my heart. It touched me that He blessed us in the midst of our battle. A week later, when we were flying home, I was hankering after another upgrade. However, this time, we were led to our ticketed seats and that was that!
I felt cheated and offended. I peaked through to business class and craved a seat there. But I was stuck. Once home, I started to see how appalling my attitude had been and I repented. If I were God, I wouldn’t want to give someone a gift that they felt entitled to!
Now, I am careful. Of course I believe God for upgrades. But I always tell the Lord how very thankful I am for having a seat at all.
The Israelites got their meat: “God gave them exactly what they asked for, but along with it, they got an empty heart.” Psalm 106:16. Contentment brings peace and joy. And remember, it has nothing to do with circumstances and everything to do with attitude.
As you prepare yourself for 2017, remember that it’s your heart that determines the course of your life. Why not make a decision to prioritise your heart in the year ahead. Our books will help you to get yourself on track. Also, come along with your spouse or friends to Healed for Life, it will revolutionise you.