Contentment is the enemy. That’s right. Being content means you are going nowhere, doing nothing, achieving less everyday, waiting to die. It is the enemy of all that is creative, all that is worthy of pursuit, all that is new and discovered. Contentment will fill you with regrets, trick you into unsound thinking, lull you into a foggy mindset where you wander through your life, smiling like an idiot, oblivious to the potential you have. Contentment means that you are merely living, but you are neither alive or dead. You’re the living dead. Welcome to the zombie apocalypse.
But the Bible says… You’ve been fed a lie! But the Apostle Paul said… He’s talking out of one side while whispering out the other! But my pastor said… He’s either willingly or unwittingly regurgitating the same lie, misinterpretations and bad theology in order to keep the masses from raising hell, for lack of a better term.
How can you say such things, Gary? Heresy! Really? Prove me wrong. Better yet, allow me to prove I’m right. By the way, this goes for all you non-church folks, too. Don’t think you’re getting off easy. You’ve been living the lie, too, thinking that paying your bills, feeding your cat, and recycling is contributing to the world. You’re a lost soul, drowning in regret that you’ll only notice when you’re lying on your death bed. I’m here to wake you and the Bible thumper up. Your contentment will be the death of your good name. You’ll be forgotten, a name on a piece of paper for some distant relative to look up when they are putting together the family tree. You’ll be some chump that had some kids and did nothing of any real value, rotting in a box six feet under, taking up even more precious space.
Jeez, Gary, this is a little harsh. It’s about time someone slapped you monkeys upside the head and woke you up.
Nothing that was ever created, invented, discovered, or birthed was the result of contentment. Husbands and wives have children because they want a family, they’re not content with being just a couple. The Americas were discovered because Spain was not content with the trade route to India. The automobile was invented because sitting three feet behind a horse’s ass was no longer an acceptable mode of transportation. And God created the world because he didn’t want to be alone.
The Bible is filled with verses about being content. Here are a few:
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Philippians 4:11-13 – Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Timothy 6:6-8 – Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
These verses are normally read for people that are going through hard times. It’s supposed to give them comfort. After all, the Good Word is supposed to be a source of comfort. There are many more verses that either directly or indirectly relate to contentment, but I’m not going to take the time to go through them. If you want to read them, look them up yourself and do a little searching.
But Gary, I don’t believe in the Bible. It doesn’t matter. You live in the Western world where Christian values have been branded upon thee whether you like it or not. Additionally, for my non-Western world readers, these spiritual lessons are universal and can be found in one form or another in just about every religion or philosophy. So there. Now back to the lesson.
These three verses were, according to biblical scholars, written by the Apostle Paul. Although, I hold to the belief that the book of Hebrews was written by Apollos. For sake of argument, we’ll stick with Paul.
Paul liked to tell people what to do… all the time. He was a holy man, raised on holy standards, sent to the best Hebrew schools, had the ego of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and never lost a debate, according to him. Even after he fell off his horse, heard the voice of Jesus, and went blind for three days, miraculously healed, then spent some time in the desert (about three years), Paul reintroduced himself as a Jesus freak, but with the same ego and debate track record. He was shipwrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, beaten by a mob, whipped, stoned, shunned, arrested, imprisoned, and told he was an idiot by a lot of people. In all this, he said he was content and encouraged his followers to be content, as well. However, Paul was not content. He continually strove to persevere, he was in constant fundraising mode, obsessively wrote letters to his churches, telling them how to live according to the “Way” and beat himself up mentally and spiritual in order to be a better follower of Christ and to prove to the original 11 disciples that he was a true apostle. In other words, his words said one thing, but his life spoke volumes. This was not a man who was content in anything. If he were, then this whole church scene wouldn’t even exist! He grew the church from a small Jerusalem sect to a worldwide organization! Without email or YouTube! By himself!
But he was talking about being content with what you have and are given in life. Okay, did you read the part about him being in constant fundraising mode. I’m not making that up. He raised money for his churches like his life depended on it, because it did. In other words, you can talk about freedom in Christ all you want, but you still need money, honey. As comedian Bill Hicks said, “You think you’re free, trying going somewhere without money.”
Telling people to be content is a way to keep them from asking the big question: why is this happening to me? Too many questions, often times, reveal not enough answers. And when people fail to get answers, they start rebelling, then it’s anarchy. You want answers? You think you deserve the truth? Well, as Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth!” But, I’m going to tell you anyway.
The content are the billions of forgotten souls that have walked this planet. They are the faceless men and women that built the pyramids of Egypt. They are the faceless African men and women that lived under slavery for four-hundred years. They are the faceless men and women that sat idly by while patriots fought tyranny and shed blood because they were not content.
History remembers the discontent. We look up to those that say, “It’s not good enough! It can be better!” Every person you admire, was a man or a woman that was not going to go into the night silent and afraid. They embraced the spirit of discontent. They flourished in it. All that is great and worthy of our attention is the result of discontent. You want to make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you? You want change? You want to be somebody? Then shake off the lie of contentment and live a life worth living. Do not merely let life happen, but make life happen. Pursue those dreams. Stop talking about action and act. Stop being afraid. Your fear only makes the days go by quickly until there are none left. Live, dammit! And when the time comes, as you lie on your death bed, and those that love and honor you weep because of the great loss they are about to experience, you will look upon their faces and have no regrets. You will be completely satisfied, and then, only then, will you be content. And they will say great things about you.