Tag Archives: discontentment

misplaced contentment

surprise sue

Warning: this blog will not fix your contentment issues.

The following is an actual conversation that actually occurred between actual people. Their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

“I think I’m going to get my tragus pierced this weekend.” – Krayla

“Isn’t that kinda dangerous? Just go skydiving instead.” – Whitley

“….I think I’m just bored…” – Krayla

“Mmmhhmmm…contentment.” – Whitley

Fine, I’ll confess. Krayla is really Kayla. It’s me. I was the one that wanted (wants) to get my ear pierced again. And I really think it is because I’m bored. I think it’ll look cool and people will think I’m pretty hardcore.

But really, deep down, I truly do have a contentment issue. My friend is right – I’m not content with my life so I want to change it. I talk about tattoos, or piercings, or a new coat/shoes, a different (insert thing here).

I often think I’m just stuck in a rut of some sorts, so I need to do something exciting to amp up my life. I miss contentment in Christ and work to fill it with new, shinier things.

And, quite honestly, I think the church (at large) has done a poor job at helping singles (men & women) figure out what contentment in Christ really looks like.

Side note: I also think contentment in Christ is an issue that married people struggle with as well, but since I’m not married I cannot speak to that.

I often find myself living this life of singleness, treating it as if it is only a season. I want to pass through it as quickly as possible and get the golden goose egg of marriage delivered on my front door PRONTO!

I become discontent with my life – thinking that God is holding out on me, or doesn’t really want me to experience true joy – because I still file my taxes under a single status.

I misplace my joy in guys, and am never satisfied. I rely on my relationship status for contentment, and am always left disappointed. I lean in hard to the perception that marriage will ultimately fulfill me and give me worth, and when that wall crumbles I’m left face first on the ground.

And I say the church at large has done a poor job in helping me (and others) figure this sin issue out because that’s the realm we play in to. We place marriage on this really high pedestal and leave those of us that can’t climb up that high out. When couples have babies, we promote them to sainthood – especially if they make the ‘right’ choices regarding feeding & waste disposal.

What we don’t do a good job at is teaching and encouraging one another to rely on Jesus regardless of season or status. We don’t do a good job at listening to Paul and trust that we too can experience this truth deeply when he says, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11)

I don’t have any answers, or really any good input when it comes to living a content life. I’ve obviously got a lot to learn in this area. But I do have a challenge: I’m going to stop referring to my singleness as a season to just pass through, I’m going to stop relying on the next best thing to satisfy me, and I’m going to continue to run, hard, to Jesus when I starting thinking about getting my ear pierced again.

But maybe I will get my ear pierced. Who knows.

**watch Sue get really amped up here**

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the 1-upper

Misery loves company.

In my experience, misery loves being the most miserable too.

If I could pick one question or topic that makes me giggle the most it is probably that singleness is “hard.” People will say things like, “being single must be so hard for you!” Or, “I can’t imagine being a single person today. You’re so strong.” Or, “how do you manage?!”

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A couple things here: 1) Being single is not hard. It may be annoying or inconvenient when I don’t want to go grocery shopping, but it isn’t hard. Hard is battling cancer, dealing with unemployment, or having your husband get hit by a car and break an ankle within a year of each other. 2) I usually give in to the question and make my life seem as difficult to the outsider as possible.

Remember when I said misery loves being the most miserable? When people ask about how difficult a certain season in life may be, I sometimes tend to play into the misery. I try to 1-up the miserableness.
“Man, singleness must be so difficult.”
“Oh, it is, plus, I can’t have a cat in my apartment.”
“Dang! Well, we can’t have cats either because of allergies.”
“Oh, you have allergies? Well I have chronic bronchitis and can’t breathe for an entire month out of every year, and I’m not married, so…”*

See where I’m going?

There have even been times when I’ve completely flipped the conversation to be all about me and my un-married life. A friend may be talking about how hard ministry is for her and I’ll chime in with, “yeah, I hear you. By the way, did I mention I’m still not dating?”

I think some of us (myself included when I don’t check myself…) want to be the most miserable. We want people to pity us. We want to play up our issues like our problems are way bigger than they are.

Why do we do this? Why do we allow discontentment to be the focus of our lives rather than rejoicing in what God has done and continues to do?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t recognize or mourn hardships in our life. There is a time for that. But, as Paul writes in the verse above, we shouldn’t think or dwell on these things. We should rejoice in the truth that the Creator of all has made us new creatures, redeemed and brought back in to right relationship with Him.

Being single can sometimes be hard, especially when I make it my ultimate hope. Being single can be tough when everyone around you is getting married and having babies. Being single isn’t hard when I look to Jesus and think about the fact that He washed away my sins.

My challenge is that I’ll quit being the 1-upper. That I’ll let the Holy Spirit invade my life in such a way that others will see that my life is full of joy because of Him.

*side note: these are hypothetical conversations, but if I have actually had them with you, I’m sorry.

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