sowing (and removing) the seeds of discontent

In the last post I mentioned, “Lord willing, in the next week I will share how those seeds of discontent crept in my life … how I planted them.” I sense the Lord is willing …

For me, the seeds of discontent came in the guise of books by Christian authors I was reading on leadership, self-improvement and success.  Now before I get too far on this post, I must share a disclaimer before you begin to make assumptions.  In this post, I am not blaming the authors.  The fault … the responsibility … for what we read and what we embrace falls upon the reader.

I have no doubt that what the authors share (much like what I share on this blog) is indeed a reflection … a roadmap so to speak … of what they have personally encountered in their journey with Christ Jesus. Their target audience (although sometimes this can become a big vague) are those that share in similar gifts, similar purposes and a similar journey.

The problem can begin when one who does not share in those similarities begins to try to embrace that message … a message that may not necessarily be what God has intended for him or her.  One aspect of their message is of a motivational nature in which they are attempting to move you out of the status quo by casting doubt and questioning your journey prior to reading their book or hearing their message.

And thus the seeds of discontent begin to be sown …

Typically most of these books are focused on a certain aspect of your life … oftentimes more a talent than a gift … but in my case the discontent of those seeds spread like kudzu throughout all aspects of my life … and I found myself in the midst of a real faith struggle … because I chose to embrace the word of men more than the word of God.

My problem from time to time is that I have pursued the higher calling at the neglect of the calling found right in the midst of the circumstances and relationships in which God has prepared beforehand and placed me in the midst …

Consider the following passages of Scripture in context of each other …

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NASB)

And then obviously the passage on greater gifts …

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.  And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.  All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?  All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?  But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.  1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (NASB)

So I challenge each one reading this post to weigh what I have written against Scripture … either the above or whatever you sense as pertinent …

I also challenge you to exercise great discernment in your selection of the material and the authors you read.

We should long for the greater gifts … but ALL gifts in the body of Christ are essential.  What’s probably more important is understanding what your spiritual gifts are and how they fit within the local and greater body of Christ …

After all, it’s Christ-esteem not self-esteem that matters.

It’s not simply the value that you or any other man sees within you, but who you are and are becoming IN Christ Jesus in the midst of your salvation journey!

Has anyone in the blogosphere experienced what I have described above?  What did you learn?

The weeds of discontent have just about all been removed and the soil is prepared for the next leg of the journey Lord … lead on!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to sowing (and removing) the seeds of discontent

  1. judikruis says:

    I too have found myself desiring a life like a particular author, preacher or teacher’s life. I don’t think having those desires are fully bad because they are challenging me to seek more of Him, more of His Kingdom and yet I can relate as I remember that He has created my journey especially for me and it won’t look exactly like anyone else’s. Remembering that must be at the forefront.

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