Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LordGod had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1-5 (KJV)
I recently was reading out of The Chronological Life Application Study Bible (Tyndole, 2007) and the topic of Eve’s contentment being tested was highlighted. Within Genesis 3 we find the enemy talking to Eve and questioning how could she be content with knowing she was not able to eat of EVERY tree in the garden. Instead of being able to focus on all of the provision and blessings she had her focus was quickly turned on what she was asked to abstain from.
Contentment is a big topic when it comes to emotional and spiritual health. When we focus on what we do not have we start to enter into a pit that fosters and helps to grow negative thoughts which can lead to levels of anxiety and depression. Research has shown that the practice of gratitude is a key factor in the treatment of anxiety and depression. This is also a topic that is spoken frequently about in scripture. When we practice gratitude we protect ourselves from missing the big picture of truth, God’s overall provision for all things we need for the life that is set before us.
Paul demonstrates this clearly:
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)
I encourage you to find a way to practice the art of gratitude in your life to help to foster higher levels of contentment to protect against the fostering of negative thoughts. There will always be one to point out what we are seemingly “missing” in our lives. Let’s be mindful to keep our eyes on the one that gave us life!
Kelly Saylor is a licensed Christian counselor that specializes in marriage and family counseling and mental health counseling. She is also the co-founder of SureHope Counseling & Training Center and offers trainings to individuals, couples, churches and church staffs. If you would like to learn more or have any further questions you can reach Kelly Saylor at Kelly.email@example.com or at 980-272-8180.