The final block that completes the foundation for contentment is connection. What do I mean by that? Well, first of all: I mean real, honest, authentic relationships with other believers.I don’t mean the connections you make on social media (for the most part). Oh, I hope that my blog is a source of encouragement and reading it leaves you feeling bolstered. I hope that you have a sense of community in the feeds you follow on Twitter or Instagram. But in general, most of us get comparison —not connection— from our online worlds.
Comparison is a Thief
Comparison only serves to steal your joy and breed discontentment. Comparison leaves you feeling less-than. Comparison prompts you to narrow angry eyes at your stuff, your circumstances, your people, and your place.
Don’t pack your angry eyes, friends. Now if it’s true that comparison breeds discontentment, but connection fosters contentment… the question is, why?
Connection Halts Entitlement Thinking
I’d say it’s because living in a real community forces us to let go of pride and entitlement.I’d wager that in many of our lives, discontentment comes from a sense of entitlement. Your human nature tells you:
I deserve better than this.
I deserve better in my relationships – my husband, my kids, my friends… they just don’t appreciate me or treat me right.
I deserve better in my place – this house, this job, this town, this whole state – they aren’t up to my standards!
I deserve better from my stuff – I should really have a better car, fancier sunglasses, nicer shoes, a bigger TV.
I deserve better from my circumstances – I wasn’t made to live like this!
On the other hand, when you spend time and effort connecting with a group of believers, learning together and living out your callings together, you will grow in grace.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
Small Groups beat Packed Arenas
There’s a lot to be said about small groups in the Christian life. What I’ve seen in my own experience is that two big things come from connection: accountability and vulnerability.
When you’re accountable to a group of friends, fellow travelers on the journey, you first of all learn to recognize your own shortcomings. You own up to your sins, and your people encourage you in repentance and starting fresh with your eyes back on Christ. Guess what that does for your sense of entitlement? It smashes it WAY down to proper size. Accountability reminds us that we aren’t deserving of any of the blessings in