Holy Discontent

There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry, it’s what you do with that feeling that makes the difference.

1 Samuel 11:1-15

Reference: v.6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came on him in power, and he burned with anger. (TNIV Bible)

Explore: Bill Hybels is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the States. He is an amazing speaker and writes books that help Christians live the life that God has called us all to live.

One of his books is called ‘Holy Discontent’. Hybels asks the reader to think of something that brings strong, negative, protective emotions.

For me it’s seeing young people without hope. Whether it’s a child or a young adult, my heart hurts when they are not cared for well.  I get very defensive of them and I just want to bundle them up to take them home with me.

Other people have strong emotions about other things – bullying, health care, the elderly, poverty, starvation, injustice, sexism, racism… There is a whole list of negative things in our world. but often there is one that really gets under our skin.

Hybels encourages people to identify this irritation, but not to just let it eat away within us. If we can harness those feelings then we can start putting into action ways of helping relieve that particular issue.

The negative feeling moves from ‘anger’ to ‘holy discontent’. It’s a way of helping us identify what God wants us to do to make our world a better place.

To really make a difference we need to be passionate, and finding the things that anger us most certainly pushes the button of our passion.

For me, foster care has been a way to turn my dissatisfaction into holy discontent. I was not satisfied that young people did not have a supportive, stable home to live in, and so, becoming a foster carer was a way that I could bring action to my anger.

Application: It’s actually ok to be angry. There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry, it’s what you do with that feeling that makes the difference.

If you use that feeling to gossip, hate, despise, fight or lash out at another person, then that anger adds to the negativity. However, if you use that feeling to spur you onto action, to make a change, then anger becomes holy discontent and action can bring revolution.

There are things that happen in our world that are not ok. There are things that happen in our world that everyone should feel angry about.

We all have different feelings and we’re all passionate about different issues. May we use our holy discontent, not to continue the negative cycle, but to make a positive change in our world.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, stir our hearts for Your holy discontent so that we can make the change that needs to happen in our world. Amen.

What would be your holy discontent? What issue in our world continues to upset you? What are you going to do about it?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.