“Envy is ultimately a sense of dissatisfaction . . .”, my pastor paused. And then he went on to speak of envy the way we usually hear it: as envy of someone else.
But God spoke to me in that pause.
See I am not usually envious of other people. I may catch myself occasionally looking at someone else’s life and thinking “Oh, that must be nice.” But in general, I don’t really struggle with being envious of others. I don’t catch myself feeling “green with envy” very often.
And yet when the pastor said that envy was “ultimately a sense of dissatisfaction” I had felt God prick my heart, because I am guilty of that.
I am guilty of looking around my house and wishing I could change things or have a house with a bigger yard. I am guilty of looking at my life and wishing it was different. I am guilty of living with a “sense of dissatisfaction.”
So, maybe I am a little green with envy.
It doesn’t help that I am the kind of person who loves change, and adventure. I always seem to be looking for the next new thing to learn or the next new project to complete. I am always busy with something. Always willing to try something different. Always on the move.
And yet God calls me to sit still and be content.
Then I read this quote the other day,
“To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come.”Tony Gaskins
So, it is okay that I want to fix the banged-up walls, chipped paint, and old floors in my house. It’s okay if I desire to go on adventures and learn new things. It’s okay if I plan a fun new project to tackle.
What is not okay is if I desire all those things while being ungrateful for what I have. What is not okay is if I am not patient in waiting for what is to come.
- It’s not okay to look around my house and only see what needs to be fixed instead of seeing all the laughter and memories that these walls hold.
- It is not okay to complain about what needs to be done rather than being grateful for what has already been done.
- It is not okay to want to go on an adventure or purchase a fancy new item, so I end up charging the money in order to get what I want, knowing full well that I don’t have the money to pay it off.
- It’s not okay if I get so wrapped up in the new project I have tackled, that I ignore my kids or lose my cool with my them when they interrupt me.
What it comes down to is what is going on in my heart? Am I green with envy over all that I don’t have? Am I allowing a sense of discontent to eat away at me? Or am I choosing to be happy where I am, patiently waiting for whatever may come in the future?
It’s all about my attitude.
And just like all human beings, I am going to struggle. I am going to need to work on learning to be content. But when I start to feel a little green with envy, I know that is the time that I need to take a step back, take a good look around me, and start thanking God for all that I have.
Because I have an awful lot to be thankful for.
“I know what it is to be in need. I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Whether well fed or hungry, or living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”Phillipians 4:12-13
Do you struggle with envy? How do you work at being content with what you have and where you are in life? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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