September 1, 2009

Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment - Burroughs - XVII - Chapter 13

Required reading 
Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (available from Amazon or free on the internet, here for example) - Chapter 13.

My notes and thoughts
Burroughs' last chapter is a continuation of the previous one on the subject of 'How to attain contentment'.  I still think these last two chapters are more of a summary/conclusion.  No fresh ideas came out that I could see and even Burroughs suggests that he is repeating himself with statements like: 'It has been as many times we have hinted...'
Nevertheless I did enjoy the illustration for point 9 ('Let not men and women pore too much upon their afflictions'): 'It is just with them as with a child who has a sore: his finger is always on the sore; so men's and women's thoughts are always on their afflictions.  When they awake in the night their thoughts are on their afflictions, and when they converse with others-it may be even when they are praying to God-they are thinking of their afflictions.  Oh, no marvel that you live a discontented life, if your thoughts are always poring over such things.'  And what is the antidote?  'It will be of very great use and benefit to you, if you it to heart, not to be poring always on afflictions, but on mercies.'
Final verdict
To discuss the subject of discontentment is vitally important, particularly in our day where the diagnosis of depression is sky rocketing all around us.  Burroughs is not afraid to tell us that discontentment in a Christian is sinful and unacceptable.  Yet he does not leave us hanging - rather Burroughs tells us real Scriptural solutions to the problem; solutions that we will never hear from popular psychologists.
Now it's your turn
Please post your own notes and thoughts in the comments section below.


Lisa notes... said...

You are so right that it's time we address the discontentment that is all around us. We are too quick to turn to medications when often the problems are spiritual ones that need work.

I've been surprised at how my own discontentment has surfaced more while studying this book. Shining a light on our own sin is painful, but profitable. Jesus heals us in the light.

CJ said...

What a marvelous and needful book this was! It deeply convicted me about my murmuring heart, and disposition to count my afflictions and not my blessings. Burrough's statement that murmuring is as the sin of rebellion was especially helpful in showing me the sinfulness of my complaints. The most helpful thing as I work on the mortification of my all too often unwilling flesh was to count all my blessings, to really see, count, mark, and remember the magnitude of good God has poured out on me, and when tempted to murmur, to search for blessings instead.

Joel Radford said...

Glad you enjoyed it, CJ. Yes, a grumbling heart is one of our biggest problems!

What's next on your reading list? Have you read any Bunyan before?

CJ said...

I've started Alleine's Sure Guide to Heaven. I've read some Bunyan, although oddly enough never finished The Pilgrims Progress so is probably time to rectify that :). I thought about finishing in alphabetical order the books I'd missed, but as the Ante-Nicene Fathers are next after Alleine, maybe I'll skip to the Bs and come back to them!

Joel Radford said...

Alleine is an excellent choice. And yes, I'd consider skipping the Fathers. I think I'm going to keep the club going and just do them. Which means if you start reading the Fathers you'd be reading for a while and miss out on a bunch of other great works...

And as always, thanks again for your feedback :)