The Insanity of Our Discontent

by Mike Phay

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

I propose a new definition, with the help of 17th century English Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs, from his classic The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment:

“What is it that satisfies God himself, but that he enjoys all fullness in himself; so he comes to have satisfaction in himself. Now if you enjoy God as your portion, if your soul can say with the Church in Lamentations 3.24: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul’, why should you not be satisfied and contented like God? God is contented, he is in eternal contentment in himself; now if you have that God as your portion, why should you not be contented with him alone? Since God is contented with himself alone, if you have him, you may be contented with him alone, and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you.”*

It is insane that God Himself, who is enough to satisfy God Himself, is often perceived by me as not enough to satisfy my heart.  If God is enough for God, why is He often not enough for me?  That is insanity.



*Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Edinburgh & Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1995), p. 66. Italics mine.

Photo Credit: Ben White via


Published by Mike Phay

Husband. Father. Pastor. Teacher.

One thought on “The Insanity of Our Discontent

  1. I loved this thought. It automatically brought me to think of when God stated he was a jealous God. Six times he states this in fact. Exodus 20:5, 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, 6:15; and Joshua 24:19. When he stated “… may be the reason why your outward comforts have been taken from you, so that God may be all in all to you,” it had me thinking of how we can be so focused on our own schedule’s (especially me lately) that we forget to spend time with him in his word or even in prayer, so he begins to break down those unseen barriers we have unwittingly put in place .

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