christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

keys to contentment, part four

Previously: keys to contentment, part three

And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

We saw that contentions come from a root of rejection of God’s sovereignty, provision, care, and gifts, and that this rejection itself comes from a root of unbelief. We saw that Israel as a type of the body of Messiah was delivered from Egypt by the blood of the Passover lamb, went through the baptism of the Red Sea (1 Cor 10:1-11), and most of them still did not enter into the Lord’s promise because of unbelief (Heb 3:19). This was the warning Heb 3 is making to the body of Messiah – let the history of Israel teach us, and do not let the same thing happen to us.

Wives, do not be deceived. If we are a contentious woman, dissatisfied with our possessions, status, or situation, then that is a red flag on the top of a stronghold of rejection of God’s sovereignty, provision, care, and gifts, which is itself a red flag on top of a stronghold of unbelief. Those who do not believe, do not enter into the promise.

When I was a young woman, I was contentious, and with good reason, so I thought. I was not treated with honor or respect, and so I felt I had a right to my contentions. I felt I had a right to be dissatisfied. What does a woman do in that case?

This is what happened to me: over the course of time, the Lord taught me that no matter my situation, status, or possessions, no matter my treatment, He had called me to contentment in Him. He was my God and Father, and so had sovereignty over my situations, status, and possessions. Isn’t that true? I repented of contentiousness no matter my situation, status, and possessions, and began to look for those things in my situation, status, and possessions that I could sincerely thank Him for, as gifts from a loving and good God and Father.

I recognized that those in my life who were not treating me with honor and respect, He was able to change. He is able to knock anyone off their donkey on the road to Damascus (Act 9:1-9), isn’t He? Yes, He is, and if He hasn’t yet, perhaps there is a reason. I determined that Jesus was a truth teller (Joh 1:14), and that there was a log in my own eye but merely a speck in my brother’s eye (Mat 7:3-5). I began to look for the log in my own eye rather than the speck in my brother’s eye. I changed my focus and perspective from complaining about what was without, to repenting of what was within.

I began praying for the Lord’s blessing to come upon those difficult people instead of complaining about them to Him. I began thanking Him for giving them to me as gifts in my life, for His own purposes which were wiser than my own. In my actions, then, I began acknowledging His sovereignty, wisdom, and choices as admirable, as holy, just, and good. I began treating His gifts as a gift. My husband is a gift, my children are gifts, my birth family and extended family are gifts straight from His throne. I developed an attitude of gratitude. When trouble reared its ugly head, I did not thank Him for the bad situation – I thanked Him that I was not in it alone, that He was with me, and His wisdom and power were available to me.

Admittedly, it took time to transform me from a mostly contentious wife to a mostly contented one. But then I began to realize something else: in the mean time, my husband had grown and matured in Christ also, LOL. We reap what we sow (Gal 6:7), and as the Lord encouraged me to consistently sow love, kindness, honor, respect, and appreciation toward my husband over time, I began more and more consistently reaping love, kindness, honor, respect, and appreciation back over time.

If it did not work that way, then God is a liar. What are we reaping, wives? Whatever it is, that is what we are sowing. If I don’t like what I am reaping, I can change what I am sowing. IT STARTS WITH ME – my repentance and my obedience, and my praise, worship, and gratitude of a loving God and Father who has showered me with blessings, if I will only open my eyes to see them. ♥

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