Today we will take a look at the cause and effect of discontent.

Discontent can leak outside an individual and effect other people. If it is not stopped it will become a hemorrhage and ultimately become a culture.

Culture is the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time. It is a way of life for a society of people who interact. It is also a way of thinking, behaving or working. With this definition in mind I would like to look at Israel in the wilderness and present my thoughts that Israel developed a culture of discontent.

Israel came out of Egypt in a tremendous display of God’s favor and power. This aura lasted for a while, but slowly discontent began to pop up in various ways and places. The discontent began to spread and eventually produced a culture.

This seems to be a parallel in America today. America has such a rich history of glory and valor. So many points of victory to celebrate. A nation of emigrants melded into a powerful entity. America became the world’s best and most powerful country. Somewhere the discontent began to fracture the harmony of Americans.

The turn for both Israel and America seems to be rooted in selfish desires of individuals. It includes forgetting the past glory and victory and only, or primarily, sees the current discontent of the individual. The individual begins to disseminate this to a willing fellow discontented person and viola the discontentment finds fertile breeding ground. Discontentment is always spread by people. It is not a virus or disease of the human body. It is an attitude based in the selfish interest of a person or people. It is born and bred in selfish feelings about the person who is discontented.

This is important because the nature of a discontented person always, and I repeat, always places blame outside themself. It is always the leader or the government or someone or something that the discontented person attaches the blame to for their situation. This is the soil discontentment must have to survive.

My premise is; the cause of discontentment is obsessive preoccupation with self. Thinking about self. Keeping score how others treat you. Your self position becomes the precipice from which you view the world. This is contrary to the teachings of John the Baptist, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of Paul the apostle to the gentiles.

To put it succinctly the cause of discontent is self preoccupation.

The effect of discontent is multifarious and at times hard to pin down. It is most observable when it gains followers and evolves into a culture of a church, a society or a nation.

Tomorrow I will attempt to point a few of the moments this happened in the journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Their discontent became a culture that ultimately denied them the promised land.

Never underestimate the fallout of discontent.