I first joined Pinterest because it looked like an interesting way to get my life in order. I love organization and yet I always seem to need a little help in getting motivation and a system for actually carrying out any plan. In the process of working on an easier way to organize my closet for easy access (a process that is still in progress…and I’m realizing may be never-ending), I stumbled upon Pinterest and all the many outfit ideas and organizational tips that were found there. I began pinning outfit ideas onto my style board, trying to stick to ensembles that could be put together from items that were already in my closet. It seemed harmless enough and it became a breeze to get dressed in the morning. I just pulled up my Pinterest account, chose an outfit, pulled the corresponding items from my closet, put them on and I was done. But I did not see the danger that was lurking around the corner.
The problem was that I couldn’t always match every item from my pictures with items from my closet …I have a skirt like that, a shirt that is similar and shoes that will work, but I really NEED that purse…or wow that dress is amazing and I have nothing at all like that. I must have it! And so, my simple organizational tool became a devouring monster of greed and discontent. I was no longer happy with the clothes I had in my closet and the outfits I could make with them. I needed more.
Anyone that has ever used Pinterest knows what I’m talking about. You start out just wanting some ideas to spruce up your living room and you end up hating everything about your entire house. Or you just want to take a little peek at what everyone else is pinning and you are slammed with the fact that all of your friends are married and have kids who they are pinning fun activities for…and you don’t even have a boyfriend. But Pinterest isn’t the only source for this nagging need for something else. In the past I have become discontent from watching HGTV, or reading fashion magazines, or listening to music. And any random person you would ask will have their own list of discontent culprits.
So what is the answer to keeping the sources of discontent in your life from consuming you in the need for more? Is it to completely swear off the evil website, or magazine or TV show altogether and run from its persuasive wiles? Maybe. …at least for a while. Especially if you are spending too much of your boss’s time pinning, or spending excessive amounts of money, or you feel overwhelmingly consumed by the need for more. But if your browsing and pinning has not reached the level of addiction quite yet, you may have a more suitable option.
1. The first option is what I stated above…take a break. Even if you are not to the point of being totally consumed by dissatisfaction, it doesn’t hurt to stop pinning for a while just to analyze your motives and check your heart. After spending weeks nagging my husband about all the changes our house needed, I realized that I needed to take a break from home renovation shows.
2. Set boundaries. I am not under the impression that in all circumstances you should abstain from things that can potentially be over-consumed For one thing, it is not always an option to do that. Such as, if you struggle with over or under-eating, the answer, obviously, is not just to stop eating…you have to eat, so you just have to find the right boundaries so that you can eat responsibly. Secondly, I feel that this often times breeds legalism…thinking that you are okay just because you are abiding my the rules, but ignoring the heart issues that are messing things up to begin with. You don’t learn responsible consumption by not consuming at all.
3. Seek accountability. I know it seems a little ridiculous…usually we think of accountability in relation to much more serious things (alcoholism, drug addiction, porn addiction) but discontent is much more serious of a sin than we give it credit for. It is the destroyer of marriages, it is the divider of churches, it is the builder of hate, and it is the consumer of joy. So if you feel yourself being overwhelmed by the need to have more…let a friend or family member know so they can check up on you. Make sure they ask you probing questions like “what has made you feel discontent this week?” or “what have you done to fight the need to have more?”. And don’t be afraid to admit how you really feel…
4. Be thankful. Feelings of discontent come mostly from a heart that is not rejoicing in the things that one already possesses. If I had been thankful for the years that my husband and I had before we had kids, I would not have wasted those years longing for a child that we couldn’t conceive. Take stock of all the great things you have in your life (the things that God has chosen for you to have) and stop wishing for the things that you don’t have (the things that God has chosen for you not to have)…because having and not having is God’s sovereign choice for you, for your good and His glory.