My 15 Minutes: Genesis 3:1, The Seeds of Discontentment

Genesis 3_1a

Discontentment is carbon monoxide to our soul.

It’s a silent killer that’s odorless, tasteless, and invisible. It slips in unnoticed, robs us of joy and traps us in a prison of self-absorption and pride. It causes us to focus on what isn’t instead of being grateful for the blessings that are.

Merriam-Webster defines discontent as:

(n) lack of satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation
a: a sense of grievance: dissatisfaction
b: restless aspiration for improvement

Now check out the synonyms:

discontent, discontentedness, disgruntlement, displeasure, dissatisfaction, bitterness, resentment, aggrievement, disquiet, perturbation, uneasiness, blues, dejection, depression, desolateness, desolation, despondency, disconsolateness, doldrums, dolefulness, dolor, downheartedness, dreariness, dumps, misery, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, wretchedness

See what I mean?

Discontentment is carbon monoxide to our soul.

New Nikes Feb 2019

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, getting new running shoes—it’s one of my most favorite things next to books and cowgirl boots. And recently my husband took me out to get a beautiful new pair for my birthday.

I’ve been needing to replace my shoes for a while, but I’ve been waiting for the new line of fun colors to come out. However, it was going to be some time yet. And need trumped want—and they were on sale.

To be honest, I really liked the color I got; I just didn’t LOVE it. But I DO love how they feel and the support they offer—I didn’t realize how worn out my other ones had gotten. Besides, my new training schedule’s increase in mileage is going to require that I get new shoes in 4-6 months anyway so I can get one of the new colors then.

I was happy.

Content.

Then I got an email.

Announcing a new color release.

Of course…

In the back of my mind, I heard That Whisper (you know the one)—”Don’t open it!”

But I couldn’t resist.

I HAD TO KNOW what I missed out on.

Discontentment

And you guessed it, I SWOONED.

Immediately I began to chide myself for not waiting another week. For being impatient. Never mind my old running shoes should have been replaced a few months ago. This color was “PERFECT!”

Then I heard it.

You know, That Whisper that told me not to open the email in the first place? Except for this time, it wasn’t a whisper. It was loud and chastising.

“Really?! You’re going to allow discontentment to flood your heart and have an attitude of dissatisfaction, misery, and regret because of a color? Are. You. Kidding. Me? Be careful your selfishness doesn’t lead to stupid choices.”

Genesis 4_7

I was stopped in my tracks.

God was right.

And I was ashamed of myself—because it was true.

Even though I didn’t want to admit it, I was planning to do something stupid. My attraction to this color led to an acute desire to have these shoes. I started to rationalize why I should have them and felt an intense temptation to order them. I figured I would put them in my closet for when my new ones are ready to be replaced, then I wouldn’t wait so long and risk injury. Oh, I knew that wouldn’t bode well for our family budget, but I ignored that concern. After all, that wasn’t important right now. Right?

Wrong!

Like a rock in a pond, the ripple effects of my actions would be far-reaching, including hurting my husband’s feelings and once again losing his trust in regards to our finances.

I allowed discontentment to eclipse the blessing of my new shoes. And it could have been so much worse. I could have ignored the Spirit’s calling me out. I could have allowed my selfishness to snowball into other attitudes and emotions of malcontent. But God graciously warned me of the sin crouching at my door. Eager to control me. (Gen. 4:7a) Anxious to destroy me. (John 10:10) He gave me the opportunity to subdue and master it. (Gen. 4:7b) And He provided an escape from temptation’s clutches. (1 Cor. 10:13)

See when left unchecked, discontentment can lead to:

  • Selfishness
  • Pride
  • Entitlement
  • Frustration
  • Taking offense

All of which can lead to anger. Which can be the gateway to really unwise behavior.

Don’t believe me? Ask Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3_1

I bet you can picture this familiar scene.

The crunch of the apple
The shame
The sewing of fig leaves
Adam and Eve scurrying for the shadows
The Search
The judgments and consequences
The blood
The clothing out of animal skins
The eviction

But before that all happened, somewhere, sometime between chapter two and three, there’s something else that took place amidst the lies and half-truths that were thrown about—

Satan sowed the seeds of discontent.

And like most weed seeds, the discontentment germinated quickly and sprouted into seedlings of doubt.

Doubt in God’s goodness, love, mercy, grace, and provision.

The doubt grew and it matured, producing the fruit of sin.

Genesis 3_1a

Did God really say…?

Oh, Satan’s slick isn’t he? He’s so good as disguising himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Such an “innocent” question. It’s harmless, really. Until you look closely…it’s like a delicious fishing lure…all flash and pretty colors…but with a deadly hook under its skirt.

Did God really say…?

When we look at the verbiage of this question it’s obvious we’ve walked in on a conversation already in progress. And as we examine their posture and obvious familiarity, it’s clear these people and this snake are well acquainted.

Did God really say…?

At any point during this process sin could have been thwarted if they would have obeyed God’s command to guard the garden (Genesis 2:15) and their hearts (Proverbs 4:23).

But they didn’t.

And far too often, we don’t either.

Proverbs 4_23

Satan is a master gardener when it comes to sowing seeds of discontent and doubt.

He knows us so well—better than we know ourselves.

He knows our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
He knows our likes and dislikes.
He knows what attracts us and what doesn’t.
He knows our wants, needs, and desires.
He knows how to manipulate us.
He knows which lure will be the most attractive, which will most likely snare us.

He puts a lot of effort into making the perfect lure appear to be good, pure, innocent, and desirable. (2 Cor. 11:14) And like an expert fisherman, he knows how to make that lure dance—locking in our attention. While simultaneously magnifying the void, real or manufactured, until it’s all we can see—while presenting the “answer” right there before us.

Did God really say?

All of his logic seems rational. Comes off as accurate and dependable. Feels like it’s weighted in truth…until you realize how he twists God’s Word to fit his agenda. How he uses just enough Scripture to add credibility to his lie.

“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? (Genesis 3:1)

No. What God really said was…

“You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Beloved, Satan does the same thing to us. And as we start to unlock our arms, to uncurl our fingers to reach for the lure—he whispers…

Did God really say…

Did He? Are you sure?

How do you know He’s not holding out on you?

Maybe you misunderstood Him.

Genesis 3_6

Beloved, this is why it is so very important to know the Scriptures BEFORE the seeds of discontentment are sown and the lure is tossed your way.

  • To learn to be content with what you have (Phil 3:11-13, Heb 13:5)
  • To give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes 5:18)
  • To not give him an opportunity or a foothold (Eph. 4:27)
  • To be wise to his schemes so we are not outwitted by him ( Cor. 2:11)
  • To know beyond a shadow of any doubt—HE who is IN us (Jesus) is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
  • To delight yourself in the LORD first! Because when we do, His desires become our desires (by our choosing) and He will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Discontentment is carbon monoxide to our soul. And Satan’s desire is to steal, kill, and destroy. But Christ came to breathe the breath of a new life in our lungs (Job 33:4, Acts 34:14-15) and to give us abundant life here and now (John 10:10). Then He empowered us with His Spirit IN us to help us discern Satan’s schemes and defeat him (Eph 1:19-21, Eph 6:10-20).

Romans 12_2

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