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Discontentment is Fueled by Awareness

Something that my wife and i have been focusing on lately is our finances. Part of that process has been listening to a series called Balanced from Andy Stanley’s Your Move podcast. In the last session that we listened to, there was a quote from Andy that I’ve been digesting the last few days. It applies to way more than money and has been causing me to rethink the way I do life. Here’s the quote:

Discontentment is fueled by awareness.

I mean think about it, that thing that you want so bad, how long do you spend thinking about it, looking at it, and just being aware of your lack of it. This hit home for me as I thought about some of the material possessions that I don’t have. When it comes to my hobbies I spend a good amount of time studying them to become better and that can sometimes make me aware of what I need want to have.

It also made me think about my ministry and leadership. I wonder if we do a disservice by thinking more about our lack of something rather than focusing on what we do have in our ministries and churches. Here are a few of things that can cause us to be discontent and are fueled by how aware we are of them.

1. Budgets

Yep.

Clarity promotes trust, but awareness fuels discontentment. How much more or less a ministry gets than you could cause you to be quite upset with the portion that your ministry receives. Spend more of your time being aware of how and where you plan to spend your money.

2. Influence (aka stage time)

Some people judge influence by stage time (which is crazy). Others view the influence of certain people as more valuable than others. Be more concerned with how you use your influence than how much you have. Don’t drive people off a cliff while you are counting are how many are on the bus.

3. Skills and Experience

Let’s face it, people my age group up with a microwave. It is not natural for us to have to wait on things, but it is truly beneficial. I look at others in my own office and see their skills as extraordinary. I sometimes view my as more of the game at the end of the carnival that they put there so people might waste some tickets as they are leaving.

Once again, concentrate more on how you are using what you have and if you are developing and growing rather than comparing each other’s toolboxes.

What are some more things that can cause us to be discontent the more that we know and concentrate on them?

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jcthompson@churchleaders.com'
J.C. Thompson is the 5th & 6th Grade Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America.