I want what I want, when I want it!
Although we could easily say this sounds like most other people, the truth is, I believe that we all battle with this at one point or another. In fact, for some people this could be a constant daily battle. Discontentment and selfishness can rear its ugly head within the best of us. I know that this past week I was struggling a lot with it.
How does this happen? Although the easiest answer would be that it’s because we are just unthankful people, I think there is more to it. It always starts with a desire. You want something. That something doesn’t even necessarily have to be something bad. You could want something that is very good. You could have the very best intentions. Yet something that is good or has good intentions doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing.
I Corinthians 10:23 talks about the freedom we have as believers. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. These are words to live by! They can apply to every single area of our life. Although you can feel free to want whatever you want, it does not mean it is what God has for you. That can be a hard truth to swallow.
So it starts with wanting something. Well, on the other hand it could be that we very well do want something that is not good for us. I Timothy 6:9 talks specifically about money, the whole idea of wanting to “get rich” and how that causes many to fall into temptation and into a trap, having harmful desires. Harmful desires are lurking at every corner—a desire to covet; to want someone else’s spouse, job, or children; to gain power or to get control over someone. We need to put checks in our life besides those things that we clearly know are harmful desires.
Now here is where confusion can sometimes come in. So if we want something that we know is good, how can we be sure it’s not our own fleshly desire or if it’s really what God has in mind for us? We have to be tuned into His voice. We have to be willing to hear His voice. We have to sometimes not jump into things…instead; we need to wait on Him. Unfortunately, there is not a model we can follow, a formula that will work to figure this all out. Most often it requires patience and learning how to be content where you are at.
Discontentment creeps in when things aren’t happening the way we would like or as fast as we would like. I think we put up a blockade with God’s plans when we try to speed things up or make them happen in our way. Remember the story of Abraham? Instead of waiting for his promised son, he and Sarah went another path that created a huge mess that still exists to this day! We can get our way, sure, but at what price?
Remember, In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9).