“Attaining Contentment: The Gift That Keeps on Giving”, Part 5d

For the past seven Training Table gatherings, we have been ingesting the subject of CONTENTMENT—based upon “The Rare Jewel of Contentment”, by Jeremiah Burroughs. If you would care to, please review the previous segments in the Training Table Archives.

The Bane of Our Existence: A Murmuring, Grumbling, Discontented Heart
In our day, there is a saying that I don’t remember seeing as much as I used to: “NO WHINING!” I’ve always found it to be to the point and quite useful:

Now, even though there needs to be lots of compassion applied to “NO WHINING!” on the level of listening with empathy and love to a hurting soul, at a point the din of murmuring, grumbling, and discontentment can rise to a deafening level… a way of life… the white noise in the background of our advanced yet childish society.

At some point, the mere noise of whining, like a menacing moan, a deep and dissonant dissatisfaction, a chorus of complaint, is, in the vast majority of circumstances, akin to gargantuan fingernails on chalkboards the size of Times Square JumboTrons! “OMG!”

But, worse and far deeper yet, the malady let loose for a long time, is a symptom of trying to live life with a Grinch-sized heart. Only Cindy-Lou Who saw the deeper problem for what it really was:

“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville—did not. The Grinch hated Christmas—the whole Christmas season. Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or it could be that his head wasn’t screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all… may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.” (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

And only her acceptance, love, and abiding, fearless innocence enabled her to climb high up the mountain where the Grinch grimaced… and brought the Grinch low… to help him regain a higher opinion of himself and others!

The Heart of the Matter… is the Matter of a Murmuring Heart
“As contentment argues much grace, and strong grace, and beautiful grace, so murmuring argues much corruption, and strong corruption, and very vile corruptions in your heart. If a man’s body is of such a temper that every scratch of a pin makes his flesh to rankle and be a sore, you will surely say, this man’s body is very corrupt, his blood and his flesh is corrupt, that every scratch of a pin shall make it rankle. So it is in your spirit, if every little trouble and affliction makes you discontented, and makes you murmur, and even causes your spirit within you to rankle. Or like a wound in a man’s body, the evil of the wound is not so much in the largeness of it, and the abundance of blood that comes out of it, but in the inflammation that there is in it, or in a fretting and corrupting spirit that is in the wound.” (Jeremiah Burroughs—emphasis added)

“To say that something or someone is “the bane of my existence” means that the person or thing is a constant irritant or source of misery. Earlier in history, “bane” was once a very serious word.  The Old English “bana” meant literally “slayer” in the sense we now use “killer” or “murderer.”  Early on, the English “bane” was also used in the more general sense of “cause of death,” and by the 14th century “bane” was used in the specialized sense of “poison,” a sense which lives on in the names of various poisonous plants such as “henbane” and “wolfbane.” (Word Detective—emphasis added)

A Famine of the Heart is the predisposition of seeing ALL THINGS—good, bad, indifferent… LIFE—as colored, tainted by a grumbling, murmuring, complaining, covetous, and glass-half-empty HEART (worldview) and SPIRIT (commensurate emotions).

“And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron (and God indirectly) in the wilderness…” (Exodus 16:2—parenthesis, emphasis added).

“We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble or murmur, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10: 9-10— emphasis added).

“These people are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage” (Jude 1:16).

A Feast of the Heart is, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23—emphasis added).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace (contentedness) of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7—parenthesis, emphasis added).

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, SO THAT in the day of Christ I (St. Paul) may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:14-18—emphasis added).


Until we meet at the table again, run and labor not in vain (for naught or for vanity and ego) but for the glory of God and the blessing and fruition of His redemptive plan,

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