(316) 858-9100 | 1831 E. 21st St, Andover KS

Holy Discontentment

Discontentment is mostly viewed in a negative way. It can be an all-consuming force
that drives us and motivates us to work harder. Discontentment is what creates in us an
unhealthy desire to have a bigger house, buy the newest car, and wait in line for hours
for the newest gadget. Discontentment can cause restlessness and an uneasy spirit.

However, there is a good form of discontentment. What would you say to someone who
told you they were content in their relationship with Jesus? What if someone told you
that they were comfortable in what they knew about Jesus and didn’t feel as if they
needed to go any deeper?

There is a holy discontentment that should leave us restless and uneasy. A
discontentment that produces relentless energy and a desire to seek Jesus and rest in
Him alone.

This holy discontentment is too often lost to todays follower of Jesus. Today we hear
Christians say they are “saved by grace alone” (which is absolutely true) but as Dallas
Willard says “Currently we are not only saved by grace; we are paralyzed by it. There is
deep confusion. We find it hard to see that grace is not opposed to effort, but is opposed
to earning. Earning and effort are not the same thing."

The apostle Paul writes about this often in his letters:

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Phil 3:13-14)

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God… (1
Tim. 4:10)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So
run that you may obtain it.
(1 Cor. 9:24)

Paul is pointing out that we are all running a race and no one runs a race to lose it. Run
the race to win! And let’s be honest…you can’t win the race without training, discipline,
and had work.

The striving, toiling, training, and running are not contrary to the statement “saved by
grace alone.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes the content Christian as one that “lives a life
of laziness and apathy about the Gospel and has a belief in cheap grace.” And Matt
Chandler says, “while we are not saved by our striving, and in fact are saved from our
striving, we are also saved to our striving—a striving after Christ.”

For it is by “grace alone” you have been saved and it is this grace that creates in us a
discontentment, a restless energy, to strive, and toil to know more and more whom this
Jesus is. By God’s grace let’s strive and toil together.