When I was working in ministry in New York City, I wrestled with comparison more than I ever had. I found myself comparing my slow-growing, minuscule ministry and oddly-scheduled work days with the accomplishments, affluence, and power of the New Yorkers around me. Furthermore, I was living on a fundraised church-mouse salary in one of the most expensive cities in America, trying to embrace the fact that my thrifted wardrobe and cozy (tiny and ragged) IKEA-furnished apartment was the most perfect, loving provision that the Lord could give me in this season of life.
It was silly, I know. God had given me so much. I had the opportunity to serve in an amazing ministry with beloved teammates, I lived in a sunny apartment with kind roommates, and I had a church family that faithfully poured into my life.
And yet, I wasn’t content.
After offering up a powerful and convicting charge on how to live a Christian life, the author of Hebrews calls us to keep our lives “free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” Then the author cuts to the root of the problem–we struggle with contentment when we don’t trust in God’s promise that he will never leave or forsake us.
We aren’t commanded to be content because God just tells us to deal with it, or because other people have it worse in comparison, or because we have no business asking God for anything. Rather, we’re called to be content because we have the love, presence, and provision of our Heavenly Father. Even better, we rejoice because his provision is infinitely better than what we could ever imagine or ask for!
According to this passage, what my discontentment really reveals about my heart is that I don’t trust that God’s all-knowing, gracious provision is better than what I’m coveting.
And because of this truth, the author of Hebrews reminds us that we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (verse 6)
Friend, lets confidently remind each other of this truth today.
Is there an area of your life where you’re struggling with comparison? Should you repent of any discontentment or jealousy? How could the concept of the Lord as your helper help you to grow in contentment and peace?