Today I’m going to unpack one more “character flaw” (grab the Character flaw inventory here) to serve as our example—“my envious and discontented ways” in our “Plank Hunt” series. It’s an ugly job, but somebody’s got to do it! 😉
Sometimes there’s not a wound that causes a trigger. Sometimes it’s simply a sin that was learned by the bad example of others, or generated by a personality tendency that you or I are born with. I think my over-analytical personality has been a double-edged sword in many ways. I see the good in life more clearly, but the bad things or imperfections in life are also more glaring. Not an excuse, but helps me to understand my weakness better.
The best way to surrender with envy and discontentment is to activate my faith by trusting God more. How do I increase my faith? …
Activate my faith by hearing God’s word
So I find Bible verses that combat the lies that I’m clinging to whenever I’m tempted to envy or complain—meditating on, praying and memorizing them for encouragement in the moment. This is exactly what Christ did when tempted (see Mt. 4:1ff).
Here’s a great one for envy –
“Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.” ~Job 5:2
Here’s another for discontentment –
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~Phil. 4:4-6
Btw, if you mess up, don’t give into the shame that Satan wants you to wallow in. God always extends His hand to lift you out of the “slimy pit” (see Ps. 40:2) without an “I told you so!” After all, God is fully aware of how slippery those “slimy pits” can be!
“Live out” God’s truth
With envy and discontentment, it’s kind of easy to see that trust in God and gratitude are great ways to live out God’s truth. So being sure to surrender the need to control in a particular situation, is one way to live out “trusting God.” A way to cultivate “gratitude” is to keep a growing list of blessings God has given me, thanking Him for those every day.
With other character flaws it might be harder to know exactly how to live differently. However, I will say that most sins have some kind of root in not trusting God enough.
Be aware …
When you choose to live differently and more in line with God’s truth, you will change the dynamic in your messy marriage. That doesn’t mean you’ll change your spouse into the person you want them to be. But …
Of course, these changes can feel threatening to your mate. Change almost always does. And if your mate is a real “boundary buster,” then he or she will most likely dig their heels in and resist you, or create even more trouble than before you made the positive changes. Yowsers!
Just remember this is probably a “test” to see if you are serious about the changes you want to make in your marriage.
So repeat after me … “Stay the course!”
And if you need a prayer partner on staying the course in a messy marriage, then please let me know! I’d be honored to lift you and your marriage up as often as I can!
What is one way you tend to negatively contribute to the mess in your marriage?
What are some ways that you’ve “strengthened your faith”?
Next week is a big week at Messy Marriage! It is our 5th blogiversary and we’ll be offering lots of giveaways. You won’t want to miss it!
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