I've never ventured to write anything profound or of spiritual significance on this blog. The reasons are many, but I suppose the main one being that I do not in any way profess to be an authority on Scripture or posses great wisdom in theological issues. But John asked me to teach his Sunday School class this morning, and I was caught off guard at how the lesson seemed to hit a little too close to home.
John is taking his Sunday School class through The Gauntlet, a Bible study written by our friend Chris. In this study his class examines various men and women of the Bible, discusses their character vices or virtues, and looks for ways to apply the truths found to their lives. John is more comfortable teaching about the men of the Bible - he has been through this study himself. I've been through the girls' version of The Gauntlet, and from time to time John asks me to step in when teaching on some of the women (namely the ones with traits that can be harder for us as women to swallow - you know, submission, pride, etc.).
Today John asked me to teach on Eve. Eve is a tough study, mainly because there isn't a whole lot to read about her. On the way to church this morning I was thinking about how I would present Eve as prideful. But somehow I couldn't reconcile this in my heart. Was she proud? Maybe. Entitled? Maybe. But the more I thought about her, the more I realized that what I believe to be Eve's defining trait wasn't pride, but rather discontentment.
I've heard contentment defined as, "choosing to be satisfied regardless of circumstances." So it stands to reason that discontentment would be, "choosing to not be satisfied regardless of circumstances." Ouch.
I didn't expect to be challenged by Eve today. But my heart is still stinging a little bit from it. Eve was in the Garden of Eden, where the Lord walked in the cool of the day. If there was ever a person who had everything, it was her (and Adam too, for that matter). But alas, the serpent sowed the seed of discontent, and Eve took the bait. How ironic that the very thing that Eve thought would fulfill her actually (and immediately) led to death. One moment Adam and Eve were in paradise, the next, banished. Can you imagine the regret? It makes me shudder.
Here's where it hurts for me - how often do I convince myself that the one thing I lack is the one thing I need? God has blessed me beyond measure, the greatest blessing being Himself! How, then, do I convince myself that if I can have God + 1 more thing I will be happier? Since when did God become part of an equation of stuff in my life?
Paul speaks on contentment when he says,
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Phil. 4:10-13
I would argue that Paul did not lead nearly the cushy life that I do, yet he was content because he knew Christ. Shame on me for choosing to not be satisfied, regardless of my circumstances. I am blessed with far more than I could ask or imagine simply in knowing Christ; the rest is just icing on the cake.
Help me, Lord, to live content in knowing you. Forgive me when I think I need more.