Disclaimer: A ugly, raw, and real view of a sinner's heart is about to be displayed. Thank goodness for grace and the blood of Jesus that covers me fully and washes this Pharisee white as snow.
During a time of the year where there is extra emphasis on being thankful for what you have, or more aware of what you have been blessed with, I feel I have become more aware of my sin. A sin that is stated in the Ten Commandments...a sin that, in this day and age, has almost become accepted. Covetousness.
"Oh my gosh... I wish I had her life!!" "She just bought a new house? Gosh-- I wish I had a job that paid more than this. I struggle going from pay check to pay check... Must be nice to have extra money to do that!" "She is getting married? Ugh. Why can't I find a guy that loves Jesus like that?" "She is so pretty and fit.... If I could just lose ______ amount of weight maybe people would find me attractive and worthwhile as well."
The thing about this sin is that it can be displayed in many different facets. From being disappointed that a former interest is no longer available (and not just that but headed towards marriage), to having a friend announce she is pregnant with her third child, to someone simply having a new exciting thing happen in their life that you don't have. All of these things cause envy and jealousy in my heart... this is sin.
The fact that I feel I deserve something or am entitled to something is not biblical. The fact that I get upset, or my feelings get hurt when I am not granted the same gifts others are, shows an ugly picture of my heart. When I look at others as being "loved or blessed" and look inwardly at all I am not receiving... that shows an incredible amount of immaturity and misunderstanding of our Father. We have a Good, Good Father. Just because we are not receiving certain gifts that others are does not mean that we are less loved by our Beloved. We don't have the capability of seeing what we need or when we need it. Our God loves us fully and deeply and richly... and that, in no way, is displayed by the amount or the size of the gifts we have received. When we look at His love in relation to our gifts we are missing the ENTIRE picture!
C.S. Lewis says, "God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." Meaning... if I am upset about not being a wife and mom at 30, or living in an apartment, or not looking different... then this shows a clear look at my heart. If I am not happy or don't have a peace about my life... that shows that I am not looking to the Father to satisfy and consume me with His goodness. If I look to these temporal things as worth then I am so far off track. Are these good gifts? Yes. Are these things that my heart desires? Absolutely. If I never get these things will that change the way the Lord sees me or shows His love to me? No... not even a little bit. Because here is the thing... this entire life that I was created to live is... get ready for it-- it's quite shocking... NOT ABOUT ME! Gasp. I know right! Crazy. It's not about me. It's not about my happiness or success or fulfillment in Earthly things. It is about Him. It is about His kingdom work that I was created for. And it is about bringing Him all the glory and honor and praise and making His name famous. Jesus did not come to make Stephanie Marie Daniell a top notch wife and flawless mom with a great job, zero school loans, and a perfect body.... He came to forgive sins. He came to give freedom to captives. He came to give hope to the hopeless. He came to save us.
"The Gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared to hope." -Timothy Keller
Lord, let me seek righteousness. Let me seek Your face above all else. Allow me to have a grasp of truth and when I lose sight of that, draw me back in. Continue to pursue this heart that believes lies, flees when frightened, and fails over and over and over again. Allow me to be a woman that reflects Your character humbly. And if to do all of this means I am single, childless, and living pay check to pay check so I must rely on You daily... Give me Jesus!!!