Wednesday, January 4, 2012

avoiding Pinterest

For months now, I've avoided Pinterest. (For those who don't know, Pinterest is defined as "an online pinboard - a place to organize and share things you love.") Quite a few people have hyped it up to me and are convinced that it's something I'd love. I've not been able to put my finger on why I'm avoiding it, but it seems like the reason was brought to light in my mind this morning...

I was listening to a podcast of a sermon entitled "Learning Contentment." I've heard dozens of sermons regarding the topic of contentment, but the Lord used this particular one to show me some ugliness in my own heart and life. That's always exciting, huh?? (Insert a large dose of sarcasm!)

I confess - I struggle with being content. Please tell me that I'm not alone. Please tell me that someone reading this is shaking their head in agreement.

Here's my favorite definition of contentment from Jeremiah Burroughs, a Purtian preacher - “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

Maybe it's lack of contentment in the material - wishing for a bigger house with a bigger closet so you didn't have to change out your clothes for the season. Or better yet, just wishing you had a large enough wardrobe to warrant this a problem!

Perhaps the discontentment goes much deeper. Maybe it stems from the relationships in your life...or the lack there of. Possibly you feel like a different job would make you happy, or more money, or greater abilities, or on and on we could go.

All too often, we have convinced ourselves that if just "that one thing" would fall into place, then we'd finally be happy and content. When we're single, we want a spouse. You get the spouse and you want the children. The children come along and you want better behaved children. You can see the problem forming.

For the follower of Christ, this is a serious issue because discontentment basically looks our Savior in the face and says, "What you've done for me isn't enough. Yeah, we've got Christ, but we want more." We wouldn't come right out and say that of course, but our discontent heart screams it.

God, in His sovereign grace, has saved us and redeemed us. He has called us out of darkness and given us, not only eternal life, but an abundant life while we remain on this earth.

Somehow though, the truth of what God has done for us gets choked out by all our wishes and wants for more and better and different. We get frustrated at God because He hasn't done it our way. In the end, we feel like God somehow owes us something.

That's the problem, but what about the solution?

I wish I could wrap this up with a pretty little bow and a remedy for this sin problem. But I can't because I don't have it figured out.

Here's what I do know...the answer is Christ. God's Word tells us {in one of the most misused passages of scripture} that "we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength." This verse in Philippians is not referring to the ability to win a game, or pass a test or sing well. This verse is speaking directly to contentment.

This truth would be very hard to digest if it came from a James Bond-ish character - a man that has the car, the looks, the money, the girl and always wins in the end. "That's easy for you to say, you've got it all!" But let me remind you that this verse was penned from the hand of man in a dark and lonely prison cell. Sobering, huh?

So how does this play out in the life of a Christian? What does it really look like to strive for contentment through Christ?

I don't know exactly. I'm still learning and growing and being sanctified. I do know that contentment won't come naturally. We will have to fight for it. We are constantly bombarded with commercials, ads, billboards and pop-ups telling us that what we have isn't good enough and we need bigger, better and faster.

For me, I have finally realized that things like Pinterest and an OD of blog-world feeds my propensity towards discontentment. I know that may sound absurd to many of you, but it's true for me in a way that probably isn't true for most. Those things stir up feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of "I need that" or "I wish I could do that" or "I want to look like that." To echo the words of one of my favorite hymns, my heart is "prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love."

So I guess, in some peculiar way, my avoidance of Pinterest is part of my fight for contentment!


  1. Great post, Min- Contentment is one of my biggest struggles too so you're not alone! Love you!!

  2. Even when you're nowhere near me you always have just the right thing to say! I never thought of how blogs/pinterest could create a contentment issue, but I can see how it agitates insecurities and discontentment in my own life. I. love. you.