Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”
Do you often find yourself wishing you owned things like your neighbor or your friends? It’s easy to covet what we see others enjoying that we don’t own ourselves. Ahab certainly did. He coveted Naboth’s fine vineyard. He let people know how splendid he thought it was. He talked so much about it that his wife Jezebel killed Naboth and took his vineyard for their own. Ahab was ecstatic! He finally had what he wanted. You (hopefully!) don’t go to such extremes to get what you want, however, the coveting of other’s possessions still sullies your soul.
When we covet other people’s things, or even their fame or prestige, we are creating another master that we serve. Jesus was very clear that we cannot serve God and things. (Matt.6:24) Our hearts can’t be in two places at once. Coveting cuts us off from God. We are either wanting God or we are wanting what our neighbors have.
Be content with what you have. Know that is is enough. I learned this lesson the hard way. When I was recovering from my brain injury, unable to work, I went through my life’s savings. I was on food stamps. I was unable to buy new clothes, or nice things for my apartment. I live in a very wealthy community, and every day I saw people with new shiny things, things that I wanted. I felt so sorry for myself.
One day, as I was in the garden planting tomato starts, God spoke to me. His voice was very clear and kind: “Jennifer, do you not have enough food? Do you not have enough clothes to wear? Do you not have enough shelter? Do you not have enough love?”
“Yes, God, I have enough of those things, ” I answered, trembling just a little.
“Have I not given you the fruits of your gardening labor?”
“Yes. Lord. I eat the vegetables that grow. I enjoy the flowers that bloom.”
“What more do you need?” He asked me gently.
I realized at that very moment that there wasn’t anything else that I needed that he had not provided for me. The only thing I needed was more gratitude and being content with what he had provided. From that day on, my coping with my brain injury turned an enormous corner. I no longer felt sorry for myself. I stopped missing things I thought I wanted. I stopped comparing my life and my possessions and my bank account with others. I knew I had enough.
God wants us to know him fully. Deeply. He knows that we can only do that when we serve him, not when we serve our desire for more.
Right now, give thanks for what God has given you. Be grateful. Tell God that you struggle with wanting more and ask him for help with that desire. Go throughout your day knowing that you have enough.