Updated: Feb 5
There's a difference.
I was speaking with a friend earlier today and we got on the topic of people settling after what they're waiting for has taken longer than they were willing to wait. I immediately thought of people who when you ask "How are you?" respond with 'I won't complain." While that's commendable (not a fan of pessimistic people who complain all the time), the refusal to complain doesn't always come from a heart that is content.
For those who may not know, there is actually gospel song that says "All of my good days outweigh my bad days. I won't complain." It's a nice song, but once reality sets in, the good outweighing the bad doesn't make the bad any less bad.
There is a difference between having nothing to complain about and just choosing not to complain.
Does contentment mean that you have nothing to complain about? Absolutely not. However, true contentment requires a heart that is at rest.
You can want to complain but choose not to. That doesn't mean you're content.
Deep down, there are issues being avoided because you think: if I address them, it'll look like I'm not content or grateful. But even if you don't address the issues, you know deep down that you're not content.
You need to deal with the part of you that is frustrated with the path God has you on.
The part of you that resents God for not "getting" you where you thought you'd be by now.
The part of you that cringes at other people's milestones because you thought you'd be further along.
The part of you that feels like your degree would have gotten you a job by now.
The part of you that has kids outside of the home and now you and your partner have to get to know each other all over again.
The part of you that hates having to pay late fees because there is no way you can pay your bills on time and it's not because you're not working or a bad steward. You simply just don't have enough. No matter how much you make, budget, save, you still end up having to make ends meet at the last minute.
If I haven't walked down your street yet, I'll let you meet me half way.
I need to deal with the part(s) of me that:
If you just skipped over that part, glance back. Even if you don't identify it now (I get it... soul-searching requires a certain head-space), please make it a goal of yours to jot it down somewhere and take time to identify the things internally that pressure you to complain whether you choose to or not. I promise you won't regret it. You might need some tissues, an extra trip to your prayer closet, a therapy, coaching, or counseling session. But again, you won't regret it.
Wanting to complain is okay. We all want to every now and then. But letting areas of discontentment pile up just so we can appear content, grateful and "put together" is NOT WORTH IT. Period.
Be real with yourself. Be honest. Deal with the stuff you know you need to deal with. I don't even have to give you a list. You already know.
What's the catch?
After you've dealt with the hard stuff, you'll be able to say you're content... and mean it.
You've got this!
Blog post inspired by Today's Push sent to my mobile app users:
"There is a difference between 'I won't complain' and 'I am content.' Contentment is much deeper than choosing not to complain. - Kayleon Dortch-Elliott"