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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Haves and the Have-Nots

Do you ever get caught up thinking about all the things you need?
I sure do.
I need this, I need that.
I wish I had this. I wish I had that.
I’ll NEVER get this. I’ll NEVER get that.
How come THEY have this or that????

It can be a downward spiral can’t it?!

God knew that our sinful nature would struggle with this. Jealousy, envy, greed and covetousness.


A desire for what we don’t have can quickly turn to greed when we are no longer content with what we do have.

Heb 13:4-5
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
NIV


Interesting that God goes from the thought of keeping ourselves free from the love of money and being to content; to “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Hmmm… could there be a key to contentment here?

This says to me “I’m here, what more could you need?” I AM enough.
Think about it, we’ll get back to that.

Let’s look at Col 3:5,
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
NIV


Idolatry. Idols.
We would not fashion together our necklaces and rings to make a creature that we would worship, but if we are not content and we love things, that’s idolatry.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying things- I sure do!

But loving them more than we love the Lord or people is sinful.

Jesus said:
Luke 12:15
"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
NIV
It doesn’t? I thought that “He who dies with the most toys wins.” NOT.


Paul wasn’t light on the subject either:
Eph 5:3
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.
NIV

Not even a hint of greed?! Not a hint of wanting or coveting what someone else has.
Oh Lord, I’m in sad shape!

What about envy? I looked up the meaning and I found it so interesting.


ENVY
That discontented feeling that arises in the selfish heart in view of the superiority of another, nearly tantamount to jealousy.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Arises from a feeling of superiority. As in, I think that I might be better than someone else so how come they have THIS?


Pride plays an important role here, it’s like the match that lights the flame.

Envy can go beyond “things.”
It can affect relationships. We could envy or covet our neighbors’ husband, or children.


We could envy or covet their emotional or physical health. The list goes on.

2 Cor 10:12
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves.
But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
NKJV

This truly is the beginning of it all.
We start comparing ourselves with others. We compare what we have to what they have.

I told you that we would get back to Heb 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
NIV


He is the ultimate fulfillment of all we need.
He is the great I AM.

God knows that He is enough for us, do we?

1 Tim 6:6-7
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
NIV

We all need things. We all pray for things and situations to change. There’s nothing wrong with that. That does not mean that we are discontent or envious or greedy.

The line is crossed in our hearts.
The line is crossed when we desire “something” more than we desire God.

He wants us to pray, He wants us to ask, He wants us to believe!
The question we have to ask ourselves is; if you don’t get what you are longing for, will it change our love for God?

Do we love Him more than the answered prayer?

Well, I don’t know about you, but this one has hit me right between the eyes. I have some repenting and re-evaluating to do in my heart.

This may have been a heavy word, but we are big girls now, we can take it.
We want to grow right? This is how we do it, look at what God says- then look in the mirror and with His help, change accordingly.


He never asks us to change without offering to help us do it!
Isn’t He wonderful?!
I love Him so much.


(Thank you all for your sweet words about my son coming home!!)

36 comments:

CrownLaidDown said...

Hee Hee! I just love it....I love Him and how He works! Perhaps it was on His mind to get the Word out hmm? I looked all over for the poster with Garfield with those words on it.

Love and prayers to you, Friend!

lisa said...

This was wonderful. I'm going to link to it on my blog!

Alana said...

Well said. Well heard. Thank you!

Abby said...

HE IS ENOUGH. i am learning that every day...in a new season of my life where finances and things of that nature can easily become idolatrous (is that a word?) He sends me constant reminders not to slip and go there...

thanks for this..

Heather said...

I agree with crownlaiddown..God is so Awesome and works in such wonderful ways. Wonderful.~heather

Carolanne said...

This is a great post, Sue. Lots of food for thought.

I guess I hadn't really thought about the fact that if I thought "Why do they have it and not me?" I'm actually considering myself better than them, or more deserving. Hmmmm.

Also, "The line is crossed when we desire “something” more than we desire God.

Very thought-provoking post. Thank you.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

That kind of change is good :) We all need to re-evaluate our priorities everyday...

~Java Mama~ said...

Isn't He just so good, we serve an AWESOME God. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts this morning! and getting to know our mighty God more through it.

JOYfully in Him,
Kelli

Monkey Giggles said...

Sue, You always give me something to think about.

This is so so true. He is more than enough. If I got what we deserved I would be on my way to hell. I am so thankful that HE is enough.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Beautiful post...one that I needed to read!

Blessings,

Leigh Gray said...

wow, what a great word. The Lord has still not let me leave the Idol "study" I am on!! oh goodness - think I will ever learn?? I don't know - but God and but Grace!! Oh praise Him!!

Leigh

Alisun said...

He is all we need, we just forget that so often. Thanks for somthing to think on today.
Alisun

Multiple Mom T said...

Ouch! "Do we love Him more than the answered prayer"? 6 years ago I turned my back on God because the answer was yes. 6 years later I hope I'm at a different place.

Sharon said...

God has been spending some time working on me concerning some of these issues this past year.
Contentment.
Do I just need Him? More than life itself.
Is He all I need? I do think(know) that I have a ways to go.
But, He is so faithful and patient and He will complete this work in me.
Thank you Jesus.

Susy said...

Your post reminds me of John Piper's call for us to become Christian hedonists, finding our pleasure in God.... "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."

Thanks, Sue!

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Oh yes. Envy. Easy enough to spot when we catch ourselves coveting cars, houses, clothes, etc. But...

My problem with envy was sneakier than that--I've caught myself wondering how those neglectful parents over there have been entrusted with 8 children, and I only get 3?!

Blech.

Envying God's very blessings...who'd suspect?

holy chaos said...

Great post! Don't you just love it when what God is speaking in your heart in reiforced several times? Our pastor is speaking about the 10 commandments. We are on number 2...the "no idols" one...

idols can be so many things... and I am being made aware of the things that I love more than God in my life or feel that I need more than God. He is working on me about how I can put "churchy stuff"
(friendships, ministry,activites) before Him.

you are so right... pride is linked to so many things... and when i saw it in myself , I cringe because I know that if I do not humble myself that God will. I REALLY do not want that!

I am glad that your son is coming home.

Heidi Jo said...

the thing that quickly follows the i need, i want syndrome is discontenment. because we're always thinking that one more 'thing' will be just right...but the only THING that is, is Christ.

i notice that when i frequently focus on what we 'need' around the home (which we don't really need- but want), i notice that my kids' attitudes become much more focused on 'i need this toy...' mentality.

we've tried to be open with them about keeping our needs in mind and not our wants. when we grocery shop we talk about the item we're getting...is it a need or a want.

great post!

Mike said...

Very inspiring.

First time here. Hope you don't mind. Got attracted by your title, praise and coffee.

Love it.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

http://www.mikeleonen.com/

Debbie said...

Wonderful post!

Blessings to you.

Debbie said...

Wonderful post!

Blessings to you.

~Just A Thought Ginger said...

I just passed on a very important award to you!!!

Jill said...

As always Sue, you have hit my heart. I wish so much this was not my struggle, but sadly it is. The Lord has used this post to show me a couple areas that I need to repent. Thanks for sharpening this iron.

Christin said...

"The line is crossed in our hearts." So true so true so true.

SharonB said...

Sue I would have given you an award, but Ginger beat me to it! You are such an encourager and everytime I visit your blog I grow a little deeper. You are such a blessing to me.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Thank you so much Ginger and Sharon!!!
You bless my socks off!!

Patty said...

Great Word Sue!! I always come away refreshed, even when it's a hard lesson!! Not even a hint, that was eye opening! He is Enough!!
Blessings,
Patty

Gina said...

thanks for stopping by, and sharing, Sue. You, and a couple other blogs, inspired me to do a give away....and I thought it would be a great way to honor my son's birthday! I think it is such a neat way to serve those who "visit" your blog! Thanks for being a great example!

Carrie said...

Great post! My Bible study group was just discussing a similar topic last night. We were talking about how this country is sooooooooooo caught up in material things, and it was so easy to want to "keep up with the Joneses", to get sucked in to that mentality and not even see it!

Thanks for the reminder!
God bless :)

Gina said...

Oh, and by the way, YOU bless MY socks off!

Dionna said...

I've given you an award. Check my blog out for the details. :)

Cahleen 何凱琳 said...

It's easy for me to get stuck in a cycle of envy. There's a real culture of materialism in Taipei, and as much as I try to not care, I can't help but get sucked into it sometimes. Then I inevitably start "cryin' after earthly things I know I can't afford." By the way, that's from a Jennifer Knapp song (can't remember which one) and the next line says, "But He who died is greater than these." Amen!

Thoughts of a Mom said...

Hey Sue,
Thanks for stopping bye. I always love reading your blog, it always has something just for me.

gail said...

wow! incredible stuff and insight. thank you for sharing what the Lord led you too. it wasn't too heavy, yes we are big girls.

this is an area the Lord continues to deal with me on. the culture we live in doesn't help, but its in the heart of man to envy. i know the LOrd led me here to hear this again ...

thanks! a new fan =)
gail

Heather C said...

You've got me singing!!

"And all of You is more than enough for all of me... for every thirst and every need... You satisfy me, with Your love and all I have in You is more than enough!"

SuzyQ said...

What a wonderful post!
I really enjoyed reading it:0)
...Oh and Thankyou for taking the time to stop by my blog and leave such lovely comments:0)...
Blessings
Suzyxx

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