The American way to 'ease' the uncomfortableness of those feelings is to go buy something new. And it works. Temporarily. The restless monster within has been appeased and we're happy with our new purchases. Temporarily. Until the bill for the purchases arrive! Or until the next new item hits the T.V. commercials. Or until we see someone in need and we have no money to help them. Or until an emergency arrives and we find that we don't have any savings. Then we hate ourselves for giving in to those desires.
I've been reading through the book of 1 John this month. This scripture continues to jump off the page:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 ESV (emphasis mine)
I am slowly seeing that the American Dream of buying bigger and better and more is NOT the life we are commanded to live in scripture.
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:8
Look around your home right now and take an inventory of what you own TODAY. I'm just looking at my 'extra' bedroom where I am sitting as I write. I have a large desk, chair, full bed, a closet full of clothes, a ceiling fan, sewing machine, 2 tall bookshelves (crammed with books), office supplies, 2 bins of material in the closet, a computer and a printer, a small closet full of my clothes, etc., etc., etc. I am way beyond food and clothing.Now the question is... am I content?
Am I content TODAY with what God has given? Or do I feel like I need just one more thing to make me happy. (If I only had that new throw rug for my living room floor THEN I wouldn't need to buy anything else. Of if I only could buy those slats for the cyclone fence THEN I wouldn't need to buy anything else!).
Nope! Food and clothing is the dividing line!
If we are focused on the things of this world then chances are we will not be focused on the things of the Lord.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24
Imagine what we could do with all that extra money we spend on stuff each paycheck. It still adds up even if it's the few extra things from the dollar store. Many believers say they have no extra money to help the poor but if we really added up all the little extra's we buy I bet we'd be surprised what we could give to those who are in need.
For today... can I be content? Can I do without buying anything extra for just one week besides food and clothing? Can I say to the 'desire of my eyes' that I have enough and I will be content with what God has given me!
By God's grace .... I will!
How about you? Do you struggle with these issues? What kind of things do you say to yourself when you compare your home to others?