Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

What bothers you? – A life worth living. Part 5

In February 2009 I heard a series of sermons that inspired me. We were asked if we were ever moved by something—gripped so deeply by something that bothered us that we wanted to do something about it. Or were our lives too busy to notice?

Do we feel that our life counts for something? Do we have direction? Seneca said, “If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.” We need to take quiet time with God to chew on the things that bother us and look for a way to help.

Years ago I was bothered by the stigma attached to mental illness. This discontent would not go away. I was angered by it because those who suffer cannot help their illness. It isn’t fair to have the symptoms of a painful disorder and be saddled by shame as well.

Bill Hybels wrote a great little book called Holy Discontent. The description of “holy discontent” on the back cover reads:

“What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, or get near it, you just can’t stand? What reality is so troubling that it thrusts you off the couch and into action? This is what Bill Hybels refers to as a holy discontent: a personal ‘firestorm of frustration’ that, although sparked by that which is terribly wrong, can catalyze fierce determination to set things right. It is often during these eye-opening heart-hungering moments of engagement when you will hear God whisper, “I feel the exact same way about this situation. Now, let’s go solve it together.’”

Do you see an unjust situation that really bothers you? Can you see a way to help? …even a little?

This has been Part 5 of the series A Life Worth Living.  Read Part 7 Wilberforce

1 Comment

  1. Catherine Drake

    April 12, 2021 at 7:20 am

    Thank you Marja, you have truly inspired me to seek God concerning my “Holy Discontent”.
    I actually have the book by Bill Hybels. It’s time to dust it off and read it again.

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