And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 ESV
There was a time when I stopped entertaining or even having friends over for a good cup of Irish tea. It seemed all my girlfriends were living in new, huge and fantastically decorated houses. Over time, the house I once loved became a disappointment until all I could see was chipping paint, carpet that was beyond help, and a kitchen floor perpetually covered in baby food.
It took selling and moving miles away for me to realize how much I loved our home. And knowing my girlfriends, I imagine my crazy carpets never bothered them half as much as they embarrassed me. What moments of joy I let slip away, all because I compared our “haves” with someone else’s.
God’s Word says we shouldn’t focus on the abundance of possessions, but what we do with them. Now when my heart starts wandering toward the latest thing that sparkles, I think about these simple truths:
If you are like me, it is too easy to fall into the comparison trap. Only don’t. Don’t let it rob your joy. Your life. What if, instead of seeking what we don’t have, we praise God for all that He has placed on our doorstep?
When your heart challenges you to compare your life and circumstances against others, meet it with a list of the blessings God has given. If it helps, designate a bowl or journal as you capture all you are thankful for on paper. You could even help family members become more thankful by sharing lists with each other at dinnertime once a week.
Dear God, You are a Mighty and Gracious Father. Thank You for carving out the life You have given us with an abundance of blessings. Whatever our circumstances, we ask that You touch our hearts with an attitude of gratefulness. We pray that everything we have and do would be used as a means to glorify You.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. Ann encourages participants to take on the life-changing discipline of journaling God’s gifts—to really look at life and find the good in it. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, that we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others.