“ Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” Galatians 5:26
I hate the thought of envying someone or being envious. I am throwing off the false pretenses associated with what Christians are suppose to be like and getting real. The truth is: I do and often am.
It seems like I know two types of people. The first appear to follow a jackhammer. Everywhere they go, there are potholes that they stumble into causing twisted ankles or flat tires, bills in hot pursuit.
The next are the people that NEVER seem to have anything bad happen. When potholes appear in their travels, there is always a gold mine or oil well beneath the surface. They complain about how busy they are with social events. When repairs loom on their horizon it often involves a large “toy,” not their means to get back and forth to work, and the “inconvenience of it all.” Oh, wait, those are only people I know, right?
I ponder,”What is heavenly Dad trying to say to me?” Is it so wrong to want to not have to worry for a while about what is going to break next or wish a big toy could even be a justifiable dream? Besides, those people are not saints, so why do they seem to get preferential treatment from heavenly Dad? Are they the “good kids” and me the bad?
He diverts me,”What is in your hand?” He asks.
“What do you mean?” He repeats, more slowly, “What is in your hand?” I begin to get defensive. “Dad, we’ve had this discussion before. Besides, it’s ok to have financial goals, or so I’m told. Isn’t what I am supposed to do?”
He changes the subject again. “What is the opposite of envy?” I google. Ummmm, not seeing an antonym that “feels” right: like, liking, love, loving, comfort, confidence, contentedness–whoa!!! That’s it!
Contentedness: feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.
I need to think about that for a minute. Am I content with what is in my hand? It would be so easy to just say “yes” and then run away from this discussion, pretending that I have it all together, and I am all selfless and what not. But…that’s not true.
Then He gets out the hammer and chisel to chip away some spots that I did not feel were that terribly rough, but, I was wrong.
“Open your hand.” He says. I obey. “What do you see?”
“I see Taylor, all grown up,” but quickly add,”but she could move out anytime!” “What do you see?” He repeats again. “I see a house that Archie and I have worked on for close to a decade, still not done.” “aaaaaand?” He prods. “Aaaand, a couple of people who have offered to help me finish.”
“Keep going.” And I do. The more He pushed the more honest I was with myself. My hand was much fuller than what I expected. We covered what I, at this moment, am still able to do physically. The opportunities to help others through work and church.
Then He crossed the line. Mine, not His and it was uncomfortable. He said,”What are you willing to give up to get what you are envious of?” Give up?!?!?! Now wait right there! Why do I need to give anything up? Why can’t I just have…more?
“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” 1 Timothy 6:8
Because, I don’t need more.
I am also not willing to switch out anything I already have and replace it with something/anything else. Don’t look now, but I think I just took a baby step away from envy and a tiny step towards contentment. How about you?
Until tomorrow: Blessings!