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.
Thank you so much for this message it has revealed much in me that with gods grace o need to change of heart, my attitudes of jealousy and lack of mercy when god has been so merciful to me alot of pride in judgmental attitude thanks Jo I use to hate me instead of repenting and letting god change my heart but in that now I am grateful in seeing hating the sin instead of hating me I can now embrace the truth about myself with the positive and gratefull attitude to god for his mercy and a chance to start a new working on those issues thank you Jo I felt also a deeper understanding of how much god really loves me can set me free from discontent and also to lead to be kinder to myself in a balanced way, love your neighbour as yourself comes to mind that if we are hard and harsh on ourselves and critical of ourselves instead of receiving gods mercy forgiveness for our selves this too can make us hard and harsh thank you god bless you for your encouragement
Thank you Jo
Not sure if the last msg hot through this message has opened my eyes to the attitudes in my own life that need addressing
The other thing that came to mind is love your neighbour as yourself and I have been very hard and self critical of myself in growing on the knowledge of how god sees me I realise a deeper understanding of his love for me will help me overcome these attitudes thank you bless you in Jesus name
I am so glad that this blog helped you. Yes, the more we know we are loved, the more we accept ourselves, the more we can love and accept others. May God bless you more and more