Saturday, July 30, 2016

Alma 29:3 -- On Being Content with the Lord

"But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me."
Alma 29:3

This is just after Alma had wished to be an angel so that he could spread the gospel with greater power.  I think it is interesting that he steps back from that so quickly, admitting that it was a sin to wish for that.  It doesn't really seem like a bad thing, to want to help God more.  I think though that Alma has a good point here, in that we so often want our lives to be more dramatic than they are.  Instead of learning and progressing line upon line, we often want to skip from elementary school to college, thinking that we can handle it just fine, and not really realizing that our pride is messing with our self-confidence and we're about to learn a lesson about patience and recovering from failure.

It's often difficult to be content with what we have.  We tend to compare, and if the guy on the game show got one and the girl on the home makeover show could do that, then we want it too.  But comparison and covetousness most often just gets us into more trouble, because we not only want something, we want it NOW, without the steps of earning it or working for it as a long-term goal.  So, we go into debt or skip other steps, creating more difficulty for ourselves.  God is usually perfectly willing to give us what we truly want... which is a good reason to think about it and be certain... but to get it, we have to learn the steps that it takes to earn it.  God's not just going to teleport it into the living room.  Not because he can't, but because our primary need as seen by our loving parent isn't just a pile of stuff.  It's learning to be self-sufficient, and learning how to trust and do the right things.

Today, let's work on being content with what we have, and going about getting what we want in the right way... through listening to and following God.

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