Yesterday, we looked at the envy trap Satan sets to pull us away from God and derail us off the track to Christ-likeness. We hope you have been learning to be more content with God and what He gives you each day. Today, let’s look at why we are so susceptible, over and over, to this envy trap.
I remember to my first paycheck helping a neighbor roofer in middle school. It seemed like so much money, then 5.00/hr in high school, then 7.00/hr in college. In med school, I had so many bills and made 8000/yr parking cars to pay room and meals and that seemed like so much. But then the third and fourth years of med school, I would work 80-100 hrs/wk for NO pay. So when I started residency, I was 108,000 in debt, hadn’t had a paycheck in 2 years, moving to California with 2 suitcases of clothes to my name, and was desperate for money.
That first month, I made $3000. It seemed like a million. I felt so rich, thought it would last forever, believed I was in financial heaven. I was able to buy a TV and bed, and eat out occasionally. Well, 6 months later, I was amazed at how little I now had at the end of the month. I didn’t have enough. Residency year 2, I got a raise to 39,000/yr. Wow, I’m rich again. But in 5 months, I started to get that “It’s not enough” feeling. Year 4, I was making 45,000 and moonlighting to almost double that. Again, I felt rich, but in about 8 months I needed more. How could 36,000 seem so great, but then 90,000 for the same lifestyle not be enough. Our flesh is never satisfied.
Once we hit our goal, our mark, we reset or recalibrate to a higher setting, we need more for the same satisfaction. In addictions, we call it developing a tolerance, needing more of the drug to get the same effect. Needing more as time goes on happens in a lot of areas… money…space in a kitchen or yard…alcohol or caffeine…more out of marriage now than I said when engaged…job satisfaction…needing 2, 3, or 4 cars. Our amnesia to where the real settings need to be, and this recalibration phenomena, dangerously dangle us right over the envy trap.
Today, examine your needs meter. Have your settings been calibrated much higher than really necessary. Have your wants turned into needs? That is our flesh and Satan working in concert. Evaluate where God would set your needs meter, or, how Jesus set His. Examine and make a plan to back off one of your wants a bit today. Replace that with some time in God’s word or prayer time talking and listening to Him. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father, Thanks for meeting my needs. Help me understand the difference between real needs and desires, and be satisfied and thankful when You provide for my needs, instead of me saying “thanks, but I need more”. Help me focus on what I have and not on what I don’t have. God, You are so awesome and Your design is perfect, help me be transformed through Godly decision-making and not conformed to this world and mentality by my fleshly decisions. In Christ’s perfectly calibrated offering and name; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
See past 2 days scriptures as well.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Stepping Stones: The Big Lie Behind Envy
Stepping Stones: If I Could Win A Million Dollars…
I am reminded of a quote that I believe is attributed to Socrates. Paraphrasing: "He who is not satisfied by what he has will not be satisfied by what he wants."
Thanks for this series, it is excellent ground for a dinner time conversation with kids.