The Greener Grass

JGBlock-GreenerThe Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge is a helpful little book. It hits a nerve with almost everyone who reads it, including myself. The subtitle says it all: Finding Contentment on Your side of the Fence. The author helps us to do battle with discontentment by steering us back to the truths of the Gospel. You can find the first chapter online.

The habit of discontentment is a stubborn one to break. It’s notorious for elevating good desires and making them into idols. “If only…”. We've all said it or at least thought it. How easily we buy into the lie that guaranteed happiness awaits us on the other side of the fence.

How can we grow in gratitude? How can we honor the Lord through contentment? Here is a list of suggestions that I've found helpful to orient my heart back to Christ.

  1. Tell yourself: everything I have both materially and immaterially, I have received from the Lord (1 Chron. 29:14; 1 Cor. 4:7)
  2. Focus your attention on what you have, not on what you don’t have (Phil. 4:11)
  3. Thank God that that in the Gospel He has supplied your greatest need: salvation in Christ (2 Cor. 9:15)
  4. Confess the sin of grumbling and complaining (Phil. 2:14)
  5. Keep track of the specific ways in which God is blessing you (Josh. 4:20-24)
  6. Surrender yourself consciously to God’s sovereignty. He really knows best what you need and what you can handle (Mat. 6:8)
  7. Make a list of the spiritual blessings that are yours in Christ (Eph. 1-3)
  8. Thank God for the hard things; He is providing you with an opportunity to grow in faith (2 Cor. 1:8,9)
  9. Remember that you have more than you deserve (Ps. 103:10)
  10. Say “thank you” daily, to God and to others (Eph. 5:20)
  11. Preach to yourself: the best is yet to come (Heb. 12:28)