There is an idea ingrained within the Evangelical psyche that God wants us to be satisfied with wherever we find ourselves in life. Several verses come to mind…
Phil 4:11-12 “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
1 Tim 6:6-7 “But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”
Heb.13:5 “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
…and those passages are used repetitively to get individuals in congregations to resign themselves to live in less than fulfilling relationships and life situations. And who can argue with the “WORD OF THE LORD”?
What does that mean for the husband or a wife in an emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive relationship?
What does it mean for the ethnic, racial, gender, or sexual minority in a particular culture, subjugate to the whim of the majority populations biases and ignorance?
And what does it mean for those living in abject poverty, without even their most basic needs being met.
Does it mean that all these individuals and people groups just accept, without question, their particular “lot in life”?
Consider for a moment that the “Word of the Lord” sounding from your church pulpit may just be some preachers interpretation of what they think God is saying. And they could be wrong! Even a cursory reading of the three above passages in the context of where they are found would clarify that God is not talking about life situations but rather greed and the unhealthy desire for more.
But many church leaders misuse the Bible to their own advantage in order to control their congregations rather than set them free in the grace of God. And in the process, they turn God into a detached and compassion-less deity, happy to see you suffer though life.
If it were true that God wants us to sit there and take what life throws at us, then there would not have been a women’s suffrage movement, or civil rights movement, or LGBT rights movement. Those movements were birthed out of feelings of being discontented with injustice, and the world is full of such movements. We should never be content with injustice whether globally, nationally, locally, or even in our own homes.
If your situation in life today causes you unease and discontentment. If you are suffering in silence in a relationship, or living in a situation that is harmful and destructive to you or those you love, don’t let anyone tell you that it is the will of God for you to remain in it. Go to God, pour out your heart to Him, ask Him for guidance and then do something to change your life. And be content in knowing that He will answer and that He is with you as you move ahead with your life. Always, and forever.