The Fruit of Distontent

I don’t know why I subject myself to it. It doesn’t make any sense. All it produces is frustration, discontent, and guilt. I try to stop myself, but eventually, inevitably, reluctantly, I give in (okay, maybe not reluctantly, but gimmie a break—I’m on a roll). Two to three times a year I do it—I watch Apple reveal its latest “i” devices. iWatch, iDrool, iCovet, iRepent, rinse and repeat. Okay, I guess covet isn’t the right word, because I don’t want somebody else’s iPhone XS Max, Apple watch series 4, iPad Pro, or iMac Pro; I just want one of each for myself (and that homepod’s not bad either). So I’m guilty of envy, not covetousness, but I’m pretty sure God dislikes them both. And subjecting myself to this process isn’t healthy (though the Apple Watch can do electrocardiograms now, so maybe that balances it out). 
 
Do people with other interests do this, or is it just us gadget freaks? Do people who can’t afford to get a new car every year continually go to new car shows? Do people who can’t afford to buy a new home or remodel go to new home shows several times a year? Do people who already have a closet full of clothes keep going shop— ….. Uh…, okay, never mind. 
 
Why is it so hard to be content? Why do we have areas of our life where we struggle so hard to be satisfied with what we have? How can we look at a fridge full of food and say, “There’s nothing to eat?” How can we look at a closet full of clothes and say, “I have nothing to wear?” How can we look at a device that’s only a year old, and that does things kings and emperors would’ve envied a decade or two ago and say, “It’s not enough,” just because it’s not the newest or most powerful version? 
 
The problem is as old as man himself. What did Satan use to tempt Adam & Eve? The lure of “more”—one more fruit than the myriad options already available; more knowledge; more standing in relation to God. We would give anything to have the setup they had, but it wasn’t enough for them. And truth be told, if we were put in that situation it probably wouldn’t be long before it wouldn’t be enough for us either. 
 
The apostle Paul wrote, “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me…. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:10-13 NIV). From this little passage he shows us that contentment is so elusive that it seems like there’s some “secret” that most of us aren’t aware of. But Paul managed to figure it out. He says it’s something that has to be learned. It takes time and focus and discipline to develop a contented mentality. It takes a dependence on God for the strength to do it. And it takes a mindset of gratitude (“I rejoiced greatly”). Because when we’re focused on giving thanks for what we have we’re not obsessing on what we don’t. 
 
It must work, because I haven’t even thought about camping out to get this new stuff. Of course, when they’re charging nearly $1500 for a new iPhone, that does ease the temptation. If they’re smart they’ll re-name it the iBible, which just happens to have a 4K camera, music & video player, and FaceID. Then I’d be in real trouble. All these centuries and man’s downfall is still an apple…. 

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