Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Coveting Made Personal

I'm friends on Facebook with many people that attend the church I grew up in. I love that church. I loved it so much when I attended there that Justin was afraid we would never find anything I liked as well. But God tends to take care of such things. A few weeks ago a lady posted about her Sunday School class; she stated that they had discussed being covetous of qualities instead of things. 

Let's be honest, it's easy to talk about the sins we don't do. Or are at least less likely to do. Drinking. Homosexuality. Adultery. Coveting someone else's house (although that's nearer the mark, isn't it? With pretty social media posts and blogs?) We tend to not discuss the sins we really have problems with: things like gossip, self-indulgence, pride, or rebellion.  Those are sins too. And maybe worse ones because they are the ones we try to overlook. 

So when she started talking about being covetous over qualities I was immediately convicted. She listed beauty, wisdom, and talents as examples. How often am I jealous of someone else's beauty or body size? Do I covet that quality instead of thanking God for what I have and making the most of it? What about other ladies' talents? Do I wish for those, thinking mine aren't as impressive or important? 

It's easy to look around and say, "I wish I could write like her, or sing like her, or teach like her, or care like her," and never think we are being covetous. But if we were to say, "I wish I had her clothes or her house or her husband," then we would know we're in the wrong. God put us where we are with what we have for a reason. God will give us something different if that's His will for us. We can even pray about it but we need to leave it up to Him. 

So what do we do instead of coveting? 
1. Be thankful for what you have. Thank God for the health you have, the home, the talents, your appearance. Thank God that He has a purpose and plan for your life. Gratitude makes such a difference in our attitudes and our lives. 

2. Make the most of what you have. Why on earth should God give you more if you aren't using what you have? Maybe you wouldn't have picked the talents that God gave you but are you using them? Are you being a good steward of what you have been entrusted with?  Make the most of your home instead of comparing it to someone else's. Make the most of your appearance by dressing nice and fixing up a little. Make the most of your talents by using them even if it feels like small work. 

Coveting really starts when we start comparing. Instead of doing our work and running our race, we are looking at someone else's work and race. Instead of focusing on what God has given us to do we are looking at how much better someone else's work seems. Stop that. We are to be "looking unto Jesus," not staring at our neighbor's race and wondering why it's so much more exciting than ours. Everything becomes ordinary once you start doing it every day. Everything. 

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