It is so easy this day and age to question everything, especially given the rise of social media and easy accessibility to other people’s lives.
Have I chosen the right career? Do I live in the right city? Why is making friends so difficult? Am I setting myself up for financial success in the future?
Personally, i’ve wrestled with a couple similar questions in recent months and it took a sermon this past weekend to put myself back in check and dust away the discontentment.
God has us exactly where He wants us.
Discontentment is a nasty, nasty monster that seems to raise it’s head at the most obnoxious of times. Discontentment can be such a thief of joy. It can so quickly rob of us of sight of what we have. It can so easily keep us from learning the best lessons when we find ourselves in uncharted or unwanted waters. The Devil creeps in with thoughts of inadequacy, comparison, and what ifs. He steals our joy and robs our confidence.
I find the most avoidable cause of discontentment is our gravitation to comparisons – it is very easy to compare ourselves with others to judge our own successes. It takes mere seconds to hop on social media and get the perfect screenshot of others’ daily lives.
This screenshot is not realistic.
This screenshot is the best of the best; it hides personal struggles and challenges, not leaving an accurate picture of anyone’s current stage in life.
It hides the personal God-given passions and purposes that make us our own unique version of ourselves. It hides the fight with a significant other, the coffee spill in the car on the way to work, or thoughts of inadequacy and doubt.
Don’t fall into this illusion that others have their place figured out or that you somehow master the journey of life. God has you exactly where he wants you.
When you doubt this simple truth, there are some ways to overcome your fears.
Make your Own Happiness
We may have very little control over what comes into our lives, but we have all the control over how we chose to react. I am no professional, but I am a firm believer that we chose how to react to the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
One way I chose to make my own happiness is by making time for me. I am very fortunate to know that my passion is working with horses, so each week I take time for myself and spend it at the barn, among the company of horses, donkeys, cats and a couple dogs :). It’s important to know that time for myself is specific to my passions, and time for yourself should be specific to your passions or enjoyments. Take time for yourself, even if thats as simple as taking 10 minutes from work to relax and gather your thoughts.
Another favorite of mine for self-care is a cheap bottle of wine, a bath bomb, and a great podcast.
Cultivate Relationships that Matter
Time is a finite resource, and it’s important to spend the limited time given with those that matter and want the best for us. It is such a freeing thing to learn the art of saying no to the good to make time for the best.
Take the time to cultivate and nurture the meaningful relationships in your life. It is so much more valuable to have four very strong, reliable relationships that matter than ten that aren’t as impactful. Keep in mind as well – do these people have my best interests in mind? Are their values similar to mine? Do our lifestyles and locations share similarities to allow time together?
It is inevitable that we grow, change, and develop throughout life and this can lead to people growing apart. This is okay. It is okay to grow apart and make room for new relationships to grow in place.
What is not okay is surrounding yourself with mediocracy. Aim for the best, because you’re worth it (as corny as that sounds).
Remember what Truly Matters
At the end of the day, your job, your income, your responsibilities – do they really define you? As I was told this past Sunday, these things are simply lanes in the highway of life – just pick one! What really matters is how you honor God, live by faith, and trust in where you are and what you’re doing. With this mindset, the rest gets incredibly irrelevant, very very quick.
If you’d like to check out the sermon that inspired this post, go check out Journey Church!