Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels

“Friends, the trouble with contentedness is that, when lived out in isolation, it can be lethal! If you’re not careful, you will become lulled into a state of satisfaction, safety, and serenity, and you’ll altogether neglect needs in the world that should elicit deep discontent when you see them going unmet.” (Bill Hybels, Holy Discontent, 29)

Apparently, I am not the only person who struggles with whether to walk away from things that don’t seem right to me – even in the church –or to do something to change the situation? Is change really worth being inconvenienced?

I grew up with the attitude of “just enjoy life.” Don’t worry, be happy, be content. Life should be fun, easy, relaxing as much as possible after earning your wages. Oh don’t get me wrong, I was taught to help others but it seemed I was to help others if it was convenient.

Please keep in mind that I don’t think my parents intended to teach this to me. It’s just the way I interpreted it with my personality and giftedness.

I’ve discovered over the past few years that contentment is not about how full or empty my calendar is; how much I’m doing for others or how much time I have available for family and friends. True contentment comes from living out the giftedness and passions God has placed in me.

In Holy Discontent – Fueling the Fire that Ignites Personal Vision, Bill Hybels points out that there are times we should walk into our area of dissatisfaction instead of away from it. He refers to Moses’ frustrations with seeing the Israelites mistreated by the Egyptians. Moses confronted and killed an Egyptian out of his frustration. It is safe to say, that is not the desired result of Holy Discontent. However, witnessing the mistreatment fueled God’s purpose in Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

I can relate to this story. I recently dealt with frustrations on an individual basis causing more harm than good. Looking back, however, I can see how my dissatisfaction with the situation ignited my passion to do more in the area of my giftedness. Hybels puts it this way, “what wrecks the heart of someone who loves God is often the very thing God wants to use to fire them up to do something that, under normal circumstances, they would never attempt to do…. You (yes you) can join God in making what is wrong in this world right! And it all starts with you finding your holy discontent; it begins with you determining what it is that you just can’t stand.”

Need a little help finding your holy discontent? Pick up this 149 page book for some inspiring examples of those who have devoted their life to their holy discontent. Ask God to open your eyes to the wrongs he wants you to help make right. Then start living a life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:18-19) It really is worth the inconvenience.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great post. I have been researching contentment on a project I am working on right now. The thing I have found is that people confuse contentment and happiness. They are not the same thing. Contentment is about our relationship with God and is not based on our emotions. Thanks again!

Lisa Biggs Crum said...

Robyn - thanks for your comment.

To all others readers... check out Robyn's blog at

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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