Keeping Ourselves Unspotted from the World (Lesson 16)
1. According to James 1:27, "keeping ourselves unspotted from the world" is an important part of "pure and undefiled religion before God." 2. The Bible addresses many issues that relate to keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. 3. In this lesson we are concentrating on a subject that is quite common in the world: "discontentment." Discussion: I. LET US FIRST DEFINE "DISCONTENTMENT"
A. "Discontentment" may be defined as: 1. "a lack of contentment" 2. "a restless craving for what one does not have." B. The Bible provides an illustration of "discontentment" in Luke 12:16-18. C. Now that we understand what "discontentment" is, let us consider several Scriptures that teach us . . . II. WHY WE MUST OVERCOME "DISCONTENTMENT"
A. For one thing, we must overcome "discontentment" because of the way God feels about it (Luke 12:20-21). B. For another thing, we must overcome "discontentment" because the Bible teaches us to be "content" (1 Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5). C. In addition to showing us why we must overcome "discontentment," the Scriptures also teach us . . . III. HOW TO OVERCOME "DISCONTENTMENT"
A. To prevent being spotted by "discontentment," we must overcome and avoid things that will prevent us from being "content," including: 1. unbelief (Matthew 6:33) a. God will bless His faithful children with the necessities of life. b. A failure to believe this may lead a person to become "discontent." 2. covetousness (Luke 12:15; Hebrews 13:5) 3. jealousy (Luke 15:29-30) 4. complaining (Philippians 2:14-15). B. To overcome "discontentment," we must pursue things that promote "contentment." 1. This is important because "contentment" can be "learned" (Philippians 4:11). 2. To learn "contentment," we must: a. appreciate simple things of life without over-emphasizing luxuries (Proverbs 15:16) b. realize that true happiness is not tied to "things" (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11) c. place our attention and our affections on the right things (Colossians 3:1-2) d. count our blessings and be grateful for them (1 Thessalonians 5:18). C. We need to appreciate the fact that the Bible teaches us how to overcome discontentment; however, . . . IV. LET US HEED A WORD OF CAUTION
A. The Bible certainly teaches us to be content with "what we have," and in this sense we must overcome "discontentment." B. However, the Bible also teaches us to never be content with "what we are spiritually." C. To avoid being self-satisfied in a spiritual sense, we must follow the example set by Paul (Philippians 3:12-16).