In our categories for sin, when we weigh which are the heavier matters, we often put discontent in the chaff pile. “Awww, shucks.” Discontent doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, maybe because we’ve gotten used to living with a low-level of it always idling in the background.
But discontent is a gateway into a minefield of destruction. To want, and be mad not to have, is a hunger that starts wars.
Discontent amplifies unthankfulness that dishonors the God of giving. Discontent inflates bitter envy that sabotages relationships. Discontent leads to worldliness that leads us away from God. Discontent promotes the worst of all, idolatry, where we search for a new god who will give us what we want or, even more likely, tempt us to think we should be gods.
The serpent’s lie advertised a new and improved Eve. “Eat now and you’ll be like God!” When every intention of man was evil before the flood, those intentions involved the evil of every man continually thinking of himself as more important than others. That thinking led many to seek to be something more than man and pursued immortality through marriages to the “sons of God.”
Do you not like who you are? Do you not want what you have or do you want what you don’t have? Do you appreciate your limitations? If not, then you are imitating the gods of men. You have come to believe that God is not good, that He is not giving, that He is only in it for Himself. That means discontent has driven you a long way from the truth.
To riff off Chesterton, a man cannot draw a triangle with four sides no matter how resourceful a geometry teacher. A man cannot sketch a giraffe with a short neck no matter how creative his imagination. A man cannot write iambic pentameter with six feet and only four stressed syllables no matter how free a poet he fancies himself.
[I]t is impossible to be an artist and not care for laws and limits. Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. (Orthodoxy)
More than art, life itself is limitations. A man cannot build his savings account by spending more than he makes no matter how much he increases his income. A man cannot procreate with another man no matter how official the State seal on his marriage license is. A man cannot define life however he wants. True liberty always exists within given boundaries given by God.
A sane man, a free man, will not claim he is a woman, a dog, or a result of millions of protoplasmic spasms. These are impossible. They are lies. And they imprison liberty.
When a man defines everything, he defies the truth, starting with the fact that he is not allowed to sit in the seat of the Ultimate Determiner of Definitions. When he attempts autonomy he becomes the greatest slave. God told Adam that in the day he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would die. As soon as Adam took the prerogative for himself to define what was right and wrong he lost his life.
This is why confessing our sins is an act of life. We hear and accept and act on God’s defined limits. We have sinned, but when we agree and submit to His law then we know the truth and the truth, with all its glorious limits, sets us free.