"Discontent is an ungrateful sin, because we have more mercies than afflictions; and it is an irrational sin, because afflictions work for good." - Thomas Watson, (Gleanings, 38)
This quote is from Thomas Watson's book, Gleanings from Thomas Watson. I have never read this book but after reading this quote, I really want to.
I came across this quote a few days ago while opening my Google home page. You see, my hubby is a genius. I think I've said that before. He is all computer savvy and stuff. About a month ago he created a new Google gadget that contains Puritan quotes. You get a new quote each time you refresh. One morning I was sitting at my computer, refreshing like a banshee, when up popped this quote. I must have read it five times, processing each word over and over.
Lately, I have had an attitude of discontent. It's been mostly small things but I've been discontent and that's a real problem. For example, one morning I was complaining that my hair was too long and it was getting on my nerves. "I need a summer haircut" I said to my hubby. He kept telling me that summer was almost over and that my hair looked better than it ever has. "Just be patient" he kept telling me. "Summer will be over before you know it and it'll cool off." In my mind I was thinking, "well you wear it and see how you like it." After a few minutes of complaining, I remember Jeff telling me that I should be thankful to have such beautiful hair. I heard him but I continued being mentally discontent. A few days later I was complaining about some work I had to do. Jeff, again, quickly reminded me that I should be thankful that the Lord gave me that work to do. Again, I heard him but this time I realized that I had been complaining about ALOT of things. I was verbalizing my disdain for the situations God had me in and the things God had given me. It seems that I go through periods when I do this. I complain and murmur until my hubby has to reign me in. He's very gracious. He gives me opportunities to correct my little attitude problem before he takes over. I think in doing that, he's hoping I will recognize this sin in myself and turn from it. He doesn't let me go very far with it though. If it looks as though I'm oblivious to my sin, he steps in and sets me straight. I love that he does that. I also dislike the fact that he has to do that. I am thankful that he loves me and wants what is best for me. He wants to see me grow spiritually and if I step into a little bit of quick sand, he pulls me out. I dislike the fact that he has to pull me out. I wish that I didn't make the mistake of stepping in the quick sand in the first place.
Watson's quote hit me square in the face. As I read it, I knew that Watson was talking to me. He was telling me that I am ungrateful and irrational. But ole' Tom didn't stop there. His words went on to tell me that I am blessed so much more than I am afflicted. I knew he was right. All I have to do to see that is look around me. I see my children growing up to be godly young women. I see my husband, doing the work God has given him and doing it with a happy heart. I witness the goodness of the Church all around me. Our family is healthy and in want of nothing. So why, why, why, do I have these times when I am so ungrateful? Why is it we always tend to look for the negatives in things? I think I've convinced myself that the things I complain about are just "little" things and that it is not really a big deal that I voice my complaints. I tell myself I'm not really ungrateful. Isn't it funny how we convince ourselves of these types of things? I am always amazed at the way God brings us back to Him. This week, He used a man (Thomas Watson) that's been dead for over 300 years to bring me back to Him.
So, where do I go from here? Well, I now have Watson's quote stuck on the wall to the left of my computer. It'll stay there because I'll need to be reminded of how ungrateful and irrational I am. I'll need to be reminded that God shows me more mercies than afflictions. I'll need to be reminded that afflictions work for good. I will be reminded that every time I open my mouth to complain or murmur, I am being ungrateful to the God that created me. I pray that each time it happens, Watson's words will pierce my heart and make me cry out to the Lord to forgive my stupidity.