I am doing a Bible study with an amazing group of ladies on Tuesday mornings and the topic for the next couple of weeks hit me hard: contentment.
At the beginning of the study it asks us to pray that God would reveal to us if we are covetous or content and my prayer went something like this-
Lord, I’m pretty sure I’m content in most things, but IF there are a few things in my life I’m not content in, then let me know…
…(pride is so yucky and deceived!!)
By the end of the reading I was in prayer, repenting for my covetous heart and asking His help to change.
You see, we don’t talk about this sin in the church very often. We are very quick to point out things like homosexuality or fornication or drunkenness because those things are “major” sins.
First can I tell you, sin …is sin …is sin.
All of it is yucky and major in God’s eyes! All of us have fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). We like to quote scriptures like “homosexuals and fornicators and drunkards have no place in the kingdom of God,” but we miss a few sins in that quote, which is more of a judgmental generalization. Read it for yourselves; this is the actual scripture:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
Now before we all run away, because we are all sinners, unworthy to be in His kingdom — remember His grace is sufficient! However that does not give us license to do whatever we want.
I know in this culture we are bombarded with stuff all the time — We see people with their fancy homes and fancy cars and fancy jewelry and stylish clothes, and that is the person we all want to be. Why? Because, if they have all of those things, they must have it all together, right?
The American dream is this ideal we all strive to have but, have you noticed, nobody ever really gets there? We have these ideals that every one pursues but no one seems to ever obtain it. Maybe on the outside they look to have reached the status all long for, but if you actually talk with them, they are not satisfied.
Have you also noticed that the ideal changes constantly?
If you look at the ideal woman, for instance, it has changed so much from curvy and voluptuous to skinny and starving and everything in between. Today, Photoshop literally has us chasing an ideal that does not exist.
Enough is enough friends! Our society tells us that we deserve things, and somehow we have agreed to it. We have agreed to it so much that most of us are up to our ears in debt trying to get what “we deserve.”
We’ve seen this pattern before: This is the same strategy that the devil used on Eve in the garden. He painted a picture of how wonderful the fruit was and how God was holding back the best tree because He didn’t want her to be like Him — she deserved to be like Him. What a lie… and the enemy uses those same tactics today.
What I realized is that the times I am least content, those are the times I am not trusting that God knows best, believing that He is holding back good things from me. That is such a lie!
“Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.” (James 1:17)
Friends, we must stop believing the lies of the enemy. We must trust that the Lord is good and that He is our provider.
The study I’m in goes on to say that the best way to combat being covetous… is being thankful.
So today, I challenge you to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)