Why is it that there is this desire in us to always have more? What makes us wired so that being content seems to be an ever elusive thing? Christians may point to the apple in the garden, others may talk about the desire to succeed (Cain and Abel), still others may just say that it is human instinct.
I don't have THE answer, but I have a pretty good idea, being a recovering alcoholic, why. One of our previous AA members once said, "When we are in our own mind, we are behind enemy lines," and I couldn't agree more. You see the devil prowls around like a roaring lion scheming every minute how to get in my head. The scriptures tell us our battles are not against what we can see in front of us, they are against what we cannot see.
The battle is against our mind, and Satan who is the big bad wolf, is dressing up what is not good for us in sheep's clothing to make it look appealing. I know because I have fallen for virtually every scheme he has devised for me, that is until I met the actual shepherd of those real sheep. Now it is easier to see the disguise and somewhat easier not to fall since the voice of that good shepherd warns me of the dangers ahead.
I say that, but here is the real problem. We are not designed to be content by nature, and even though Paul said he learned to be content in each and every situation he was in, he still had a thorn in his side. The big bad wolf was always knocking at his door because that is the battle that is being waged in our minds that can only be overcome by changing our mindset. This doesn't eliminate the threat, but we can stop it from happening.
Other things and people always look better to us because we are not happy with ourselves. While not Dr. Phil, I have a PHD in previous bad behavior. I was unhappy with me, so others paid for it, I paid for it by attacking my own sense of right and wrong and the devil kept prodding me on by making other things and people look very attractive and good for me. And if we think we are beyond that, think again.
People who don't understand always ask why we say we are "recovering alcoholics." We ,however, understand that we are but one drink, one hit, one snort from co-horting with the big bad wolf. The only thing that separates us from his schemes is the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, through His Spirit in us provides a shield against giving in to temptation. We become like sheep if we change our mindset and listen to the voice of the shepherd leading us away from danger.
That wolf in sheep's clothing doesn't give a hoot about you; he cares only that you take his side against God. Why would we ever go against God? Because we sometimes act like big dumb sheep who want to run away from the pack.
There's even another scripture about that, too, but why not write our own that just says,"No, I won't do it." That will make God very happy! And it just might make us feel very good about ourselves in the process. And, we may even feel somewhat content.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.