Am I coveting? I hope not. The other un-pictured house more than this one has such wide open spaces I can't help but think of how to use them not for myself but for His Glory.
Am I striking out towards envy? I hope not on that account either. But have I in the past... admittedly, yes.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
James 3:16 (NIV)
Proverbs tells us "envy rots the bones". (12:30)
About 8 years ago I owned a cleaning business. Inside big, beautiful houses I saw a lot to envy. Views, space, BIG kitchens (yes, I have an obsession with kitchens!) When both mine and my husband's businesses began to fail I lamented; but I was going to save up, we were going to have a big house with a lot of room and all the frills... then God spoke to my heart and asked me, "Don't you have a house now?" yes "Haven't I blessed you with a roof over your head, plenty of space where you are?" yes and yes "Don't you keep warm in your beds with no fear of a cardboard box for your shelter, aren't you out of the cold and rain?" yes, Lord, yes... I am blessed.
That night I began to see how truly and simply blessed I was. I saw how the big places only equaled more work! I also saw how easy it was to become unappreciative of the simple things that have been provided when we think too longingly on the things we don't have.
Currently, I don't have a house of my own at all. Yet HE still keeps us out of card board boxes and in from the elements. He provides for our calling, our health, and our deep-in-the-Spirit joy. How could I, even now, be ungrateful?
"Isn't everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what's the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need!"
1 Corinthians 4:7b-8a (Msg)
Envy can make you superficial. I would add... so can coveting. We are called to rejoice for others in their blessings period. Not rejoice and want, rejoice and sacrifice to have of earthly things. But how many of us climb and reach for things of this place rather than climbing with the same (or greater) energy and reaching just as far and hard for the things of eternity?
What if I told you, like the preacher told us Sunday, envy simply means you are in battle with God... you tell him His gifts to you are not good enough.
"Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us."
Hebrews 12:1 (LB)
Particular meaning the race God has set you in... not someone else's. No, YOURS. Your race, your call, may be in a big place or a small one. It may be in peace or it may be in trial. You have been equipped for your race... not someone else's. Trying to keep up with or achieve where you are not equipped to run will leave you exhausted and unable to maintain.
I pray for you this week, that the race you run is your own. And if you find you are in the wrong race, that you will spot the exit and switch tracks. God has so many wonderful things in store... don't give up... just make sure you are running your race, He will help you set the pace.
Many Blessings from my race track to yours!
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