59: Melissa Kruger | Contentment
Melissa Kruger serves as the Director of Women’s Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition (TGC).
She’s the author of multiple books, including The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood, and Growing Together: Taking Mentoring Beyond Small Talk and Prayer Request.
Her husband, Mike, is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary and they have three children
Melissa and I chat about the common definition of contentment vs. contentment in the life of a follower of Jesus. We also chat about the enemy of contentment and how that enemy is so often the root of all sin.
4:52 Will you share a little of your faith journey with us? How did you come to know Jesus?
Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Sanderson High School
“Jesus found me in a large public high through the ministry of a woman who was there as a teacher.”
“That was one of the greatest gifts- the Bible was never foreign to me.”
8:34 What was going on in your life that lead to the writing of your book The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World and eventually the 8 part video teaching?
“I realized I didn’t have a circumstance problem back in Scotland, I had a heart problem…My heart is constantly wanting more and so maybe my lack of contentment was less about what was happening in my life and more about what was happening in my heart.”
11:25 Contentment is defined as “a state of happiness and satisfaction,” but how do we define contentment through the lens of the Bible?
“I think what we see Biblically is contentment is this deep sense of hope and joy in the Lord and in what He has done that really is insulated from circumstances.”
“The heart, in a sense, that is reigned in to God’s will for His life, that is the contented heart.”
14:41 Often times, in order to move toward a desired behavior or change in our lives, we have to know what is causing the undesired behavior or struggle. Talk a little about the enemy of contentment and how is causes us to be discontent?
The enemy of contentment is covetousness.
“It was through the Scriptures, this seeing the sin of coveting was really the enemy of contentment. This notion of looking over the fence into other peoples lives, and not just monetarily wanting what they had, but wanting what they had circumstantially, wanting what they had relationally, wanting their spiritual giftedness…I remember looking over the fence and thinking, I think they’re getting a bigger slice of the pie. That covetousness leads to a deeper question of, ‘God, why aren’t you being as good to me as you are being to them?’ Which in light of the cross is a treasonous question.”
“We’re not convinced that what God has provided is enough.”
“He [James] says, these inward desires that are within you don’t stay inward. They eventually give birth to death, in some ways.”
“We fight the battle at the outward sin rather than fighting the battle at the inward sin. That’s where coveting exposes what’s going on in our hearts.”
“We believe God’s grace is enough, but we don’t want it too have to be enough for us….If we really believe it’s enough, then we can look at our inner heart and we can pull apart and we can say, ‘This is really ugly.’ We can not be afraid of doing that, because it should lead us to repentance.”
“The more I actually understand what I have to repent of, then I apprehend in a different way the greatness of the grace of God.”
25:02 Most Christians can say the source of their contentment is Christ, yet struggle to live that truth out on a daily basis, what are some practical ways to cultivate in contentment?
- Prayer: Ask God to cultivate gratefulness within you
- Read God’s Word daily
“The reality is if we read the Bible, it does not promise us an easy life here. The Christian life is described as a race, as a battle, and as childbirth. None of those are easy. They are all hope filled. Every one of them is hope filled. We fight a battle in hopes of peace. We ran a race in hopes of the finish line. We give birth in hopes of new life, so there’s a lot of hope, but every one of those is a struggle.”
“If we really study the words of Jesus and keep those in our mind. It never is a promise of an easy life. It is a promise that God is with us in the hard.”
“That joy is not based on ease or comfort or success or wealth, but that joy is rooted in Your presence is fullness of joy.”
“If we lose the cross, we lose our joy. If that becomes an old story in our hearts we will have no joy. I think that is why David prayed, ‘Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and a renew a right spirit within me,’ because if we forget the story of our salvation we will lose our joy.”
Psalm 51:11-12 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Melissa’s new book : Growing Together: Taking Mentoring Beyond Small Talk and Prayer Request
It is a book to help springboard mentoring.