When Dominique was in elementary school, she saw a friend come in to school with a cast and a temporary wheelchair, then crutches a few days later. She saw all the attention and special privileges showered on her friend so quickly and dramatically, so … my daughter wished she could have an injured leg so she could have that “greener” life on the other side. Maybe that is what the saying means, “green with envy”.
In a past devotional we talked about coveting being the desire to have something that isn’t ours. Today, I want to look at coveting from a different angle. Coveting is strongly desiring something that someone else possesses … and desiring it for me-centered and selfish reasons.
The flip side of do not covet what others possess … is do be content with what you do have. We often spend so much time at looking over the fence at the other yard and wishing our grass were that green, that we forget to look at and enjoy the yard we do have. So many wonderful things are in our own backyard and, unfortunately, we get obsessed with wanting more instead of maximizing what we already have. Let’s be grateful for what we have!
When we covet, we are also making the statement that God made a mistake. God doesn’t really know me and doesn’t know what is best for my future growth. He forgot to give me what I need and actually withheld what I really deserve and ought to have … that I am worthy of more … that I know my future better than God.
Remember, coveting isn’t just yearning to be a better person, that’s normal and healthy. Coveting is about not being thankful for what you have, not focusing on how to be a great steward of what you have, especially with your most important possession, your relationship with God.
Today, focus on what God has given you, and not on what He gave to someone else. Specifically commit to not paying attention to what other people have. Repeat after me. “God hasn’t given me that now because: 1. I have plenty on my plate, 2. I am not yet equipped to handle it well, 3. it really isn’t good for me ever, or 4. my focus will be on it and not God. My grass really is the best shade of green for me, so let me focus on it, be a great steward of it, and enjoy it.” Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, I know You know what is best for me. Forgive my disbelief in Your provision and will for me. Help me to submit to Your plan and timeline. I want to focus on what You have blessed me with and resist the temptation to focus on what others have. Thanks for all You have given me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who focused on You alone, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month. When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
Exodus 13:3-5, 17-18
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.