What would you say is the defining characteristic of our society?
Maybe pride, selfishness, lust, vengeance, materialism—all dominant features of twenty-first century life. But here’s one you might not have guessed—discontentment.
So much of modern life is bound up in obtaining what we don’t have, and then upgrading it as soon as we have it. It’s as if people are fundamentally incapable of being satisfied with what they have. They always want more money, more prestigious jobs, better homes, and newer cars. It shows up in relationships too, as people routinely abandon their marriages for younger, more attractive spouses, while others abandon their families and friends to upgrade their social circle.
Moreover, we’re encouraged to be discontent. Virtually every marketing campaign plays on that ingrained sense of dissatisfaction—whatever they’re selling works better, faster, easier, and cheaper than what you have already. The same is true in entertainment. Fictional characters lead luxurious lives the rest of us can only aspire to, while countless TV programs show you how to renovate and restore your car, your house, and even your own body.
Even politics is dominated by discontentment. Every political campaign revolves around promises to fix what’s broken in this country so you can have a better, happier, and easier life.
This pervasive discontentment colors virtually every area of modern life. Man’s rebellious default setting is to grumble, complain, argue, and whine about anything and everything he doesn’t like.
But what about the church? Are God’s people immune from such pervasive dissatisfaction?
Unfortunately, we are not. Christians are just as prone to discontentment as the world, and just as apt to complain about what they don’t like or how their needs aren’t being met.
But as Christians, we know that all those complaints ultimately go back to God. All matters are overseen by our sovereign Lord Himself, so we’re really complaining that He didn’t orchestrate and design things in our churches to our taste and satisfaction.
The same goes for all areas of life—when we’re discontent in anything, we’re really questioning God’s wisdom, will, provision, goodness, and blessing. In short, we’re actually dissatisfied with God.