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Dear Christian: Stop Letting Disappointment Rule Your Thinking

Tuesday’s my birthday. The thing is, I’d just as soon skip it. This time of year (Christmas also), almost like a switch is flipped, I have a tendency to get grumpier with my wife and kids. I think about it, and I hate my reasoning. My life is service to others, and on the day in which I am recognized, I usually don’t get the things I have been wanting, and feel like I have to put on a plastic smile and pretend to be happy so as not to disappoint my family. I hate how selfish I am! My mask cracks, and I usually am grumpy about superficial things, and my family, who loves me, and whom I love takes the brunt of my grouchiness. Yet isn’t that how many Christians act? We are disappointed with people at church, so we take it out on the whole Church. We are disappointed with how our lives may have turned out, so we take it out on God. We look at all the things we don’t have, so this must be “our cross to bear” (this isn’t what that phrase means, but it’s how we use it). Simply put: we let disappointment rule our thinking.

This morning, as I was brooding, I read through 1 Timothy 6:6-7: “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”

I realized that I was letting disappointment reign in me, and so have become discontented. I am owed NOTHING. I deserve NOTHING. I came in to the world with nothing, and it is what I will leave it with. With this in mind, what reason do I have to be discontented? What reason, for that matter, do any of us have to be upset over what we’ve been given? We deserve nothing. Everything we’re given in life is a gift, because we have no right to make demands. So in much, or in little, we need to thank God for anything He provides in this temporary place. When Disappointment rules our minds (And it rules over a very many people), we can’t see God’s provision and be thankful for the gift. We become envious, jealous, and bitter. What should we do then? Let us seek God, and keep our eyes on the One who never fails, who never disappoints, and who always has our good in mind, even when we’re facing trials and tribulations. Keeping our eyes, hearts, and minds fixed on Him, there’s no room for discontentment. Let us put aside, and repent from our selfishness (Sweetheart, I’m sorry), and let us fix our eyes on Christ, being content and gracious in everything we receive; we deserve none of it!

1 Timothy 6:2b-16

Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

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