What would you say has been bothering you? Anyone been feeling discontented lately? A change that you are hoping for too long in coming? A change that you weren’t hoping for came unexpectedly? Change or die, they say. Or maybe they say it like this, if something does not change it is dead. Or, all living things change. But as much as we claim to embrace change, thrive on change, it can be unsettling, leaving us with that feeling of discontent. Change too fast, and we feel unprepared, off kilter. Change too slow, and we get impatient, grumpy, disillusioned.
It can be hard to be content. There is a sense in which discontent can be a very good thing. There is such a thing as holy discontent, an inner feeling that something is wrong that needs to be righted. I’m not talking about that kind of discontent. Instead I’m talking about a dissatisfaction with life.
In the church at Corinth, which we have been studying since the beginning of the year at Faith Church, we see a group of people struggling with the realities of change. It is relationship month at Faith Church, as during the month of May we are walking through 1st Corinthians chapter 7, which we have divided up into four sermons about relationships. We’re covering all sorts of relational ground, and much of it is about changing relationships and the feelings of discontent that we so often have about our relationships. Perhaps that is the most important question to ask: How do you feel about the most the important relationships in your life? Could it be said of you that you have feelings of discontent about them?
My guess is that you would be the exceedingly rare exception if you could say that you were perfectly content about the relationships that matter the most to you. The Christians in Corinth had written Paul a number of relationship questions, as it seems that they were experiencing some discontent. And so tomorrow at Faith Church we’re going to take a look at what Paul has to say to them about this fundamental issue that affects so many of us. When we are discontent, what should we do?
There are plenty of ideas out there. Some say if you are discontent in your marriage, for example, get out. These people feel that there is nothing worse than being in a sub-par marriage. Or how about your job? Are you longing for something more? Make a change people say. You deserve better. Feeling dissatisfied with your church? Move on, there a plenty of other options.
What do you think Paul would say about that? If you want, check out 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 to get ready for tomorrow’s sermon.