By Rachel Armenta
“You look just like your dad!”
I’ve been told this my whole life. One of my typical responses to this observations is, “Well, I certainly hope I don’t look that much like him!” You see my dad is a man and, well, I’m a girl.
Despite my cheeky response, I know exactly what they mean. Genetics is a powerful thing.
Let’s travel a different genetic highway back to the very first mother, Eve. Most people don’t view her with much fondness. I, too, have wanted to get in the proverbial line to give her a piece of my female mind.
Seriously, Eve, do you have any idea the problems you caused? I mean, who does that? Who sacrifices everything beautiful that God has given for a cursed piece of fruit?!
The answer to that last question is simple. Me. I am much more like my ancestral mother than I care to admit.
Eve eating the fruit was the result of something that had been planted in her heart. Reaching into those rich green leaves and breaking the luscious fruit from its stem started deep inside of Eve long before it reached her fingertips. It’s the oldest seed in the devil’s trove of temptations: Discontentment. It whispers, God is holding out on you. Never mind what God has given you; look at what you don’t have. Look at where you’re not; don’t look at where God has placed you.
The Garden of Eden was everything Adam and Eve needed: a home, a purpose, comfort, relationship with the Lord Himself, and beauty just because God could make it beautiful.
Yet, discontentment gently seduced their gaze away from the Lord and turned it to things that were “pleasant to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6): facades of power, sugar-coated possessions, cheap romance, and promises of luxury and ease.
Discontentment is not a sin. It is a temptation that can lead to devastating destruction.
Dissatisfaction with our lives, our location, or our purpose tempts us to become ungrateful for who God is and what He has given us. “They did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21). We are in as much danger of taking our lives out of God’s hands as Eve was in the garden.
Instead of thanking God, the temptation is to blame God and to remove ourselves from His will and His presence.
Our own discontentment can lead us down destructive roads with Eve-like results. “[Let us not] complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (I Corinthians 10:10).
In a consumer-driven, Instagram-filtered, I-want-it-all culture, it’s easy to feel that being discontent is just part of life.
It’s easy to obsess over perfectly painted lives through apps on our phone and beautifully staged Tumblr and Pinterest pictures. But the battle against discontentment is one we must daily fight and strive to win.
When the temptation to become ungrateful begins to fester, we must remind our foolish hearts of all that God is and all He has done. “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually… the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrew 13:15).
When our focus is on God and we seek to glorify His name with a grateful heart, we can be assured that everything else will fall into place.