Why Discontent is Foolish

Jeremiah Burrough’s The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment is a rare jewel in itself.

It was published originally in 1651, but is well worth your time, particularly if you find yourself struggling with discontent. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to serialise one small section of the book, just to whet your appetite. But I’d encourage you to read the whole thing (currently, the Kindle version is only 77p). Burroughs called this section THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF FOLLY, EXTREME FOLLY, IN A DISCONTENTED HEART; IT IS A FOOLISH SIN. Why? He gives five reasons. Here’s the first:

1. It takes away the present comfort of what you have, because you have not something that you would have. What a foolish thing is this, that because I have not got what I want, I will not enjoy the comfort of what I have! Do you not account this folly in your children? You give them some food and they are not contented, perhaps they say it is not enough, they cry for more, and if you do not immediately give them more they will throw away what they have. Though you account it folly in your children, yet you deal thus with God: God gives you many mercies, but you see others have more mercies than you, and therefore you cry for more; but God does not give you what you want and because of that you throw away what you have. Is not this folly in your hearts? It is unthankfulness.

Tune in next week for reason number two.


  1. Thank you, Barry. I look forward to the next posts! I have been convicted about my own lack of contentment and ungrateful spirit – such a temptation for me whether in the long stage of singleness, current stage of desiring children, and I’m sure in many life stages to come! A grateful heart is a true sacrifice of thanksgiving that He desires!


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