“It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else” (Ecclesiastes 6:9 GNT).
You also must learn to admire without having to acquire. You need to learn to rejoice in other people’s prosperity without getting jealous and envious and feeling like you have to have it, too.
This is one of the great principles that Americans don’t understand. You don’t have to own it to enjoy it! Maybe you like to vacation in the mountains. Why do you have to go buy a mountain cabin when you can just rent or even borrow it the one time a year you go to the mountains? Ownership isn’t the only way to enjoy it.
It’s not just a good idea to stop comparing; it’s a commandment. Exodus 20:17 says, “You shall not covet . . . anything that belongs to your neighbor” (NIV).
Coveting means the uncontrolled desire to acquire. It’s such an important sin to avoid that it’s included in the Ten Commandments. The word “covet” in Greek means “to grab or to grasp so tightly that your hands are tight; you can’t even let it go.” If God ever gives you something and he tells you to give it away and you can’t, you don’t own it — it owns you.
God is not saying you should never have a desire for something. That’s not Christianity; that’s Buddhism. Desires are not wrong. In fact, your desires come from God. But when a desire is uncontrolled, it becomes coveting. When you desire something that is not yours, that’s evil. But a desire is not a negative thing.
Nothing can be accomplished unless you desire to do it. You can’t become more like Christ without desiring to become more like Christ. For instance, you can’t be a more loving person without desiring to be a more loving person. You can’t be a more generous person without desiring to be a more generous person. Desire is not bad until it is uncontrolled and you think you’ve got to have more, more, more. The root of that kind of desire is in comparing yourself to others.
You can’t have a contented life until you learn not to compare. Why should you never compare? Because comparing always leads to coveting.
DEMONSTRATE YOUR TRUST IN ME by sitting quietly in My Presence. Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything. This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring. By waiting with Me before you begin the day’s activities, you proclaim the reality of My living Presence. This act of faith—waiting before working —is noted in the spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers
of darkness. The most effective way to resist evil is to draw near Me. When you need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word. The world is so complex and overstimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction. Doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy. When you spend time with Me, I restore your sense of direction. As you look to Me for
guidance, I enable you to do less but accomplish more.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
LUKE 12 : 22 – 26
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
EPHESIANS 6 : 12
Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
PROVERBS 16 : 3
Faith Requires Commitment
Real faith is not just something you believe. Many people have strong beliefs about Jesus Christ, strong beliefs about God, strong beliefs about the Bible. They may have gone to catechism; they may know a Creed; they may know about religion; they may have knowledge about theology and doctrine. They may say, “I believe in this and that and this and that.”
And, yes, they may have great beliefs! But that’s not enough. James points this out – using a little sarcasm when he says, “You believe there’s one God? Great. Good. Fantastic! But even the demons believe that. And they tremble.”
Many people are going to miss heaven by 18 inches — because they’ve got belief in their head, but they don’t have it in their heart. They’ve got head knowledge. They say, “Sure, I believe, yeah, yeah!”
But James says, “Let me see it in your life.” There’s no verse in the Bible that says, “Religion is the way to heaven.” Jesus didn’t say, “I’ve come so that you might have religion.” Or rules, or regulations, or rituals. He said, “I’ve come that you might have life.”
Jesus calls us to a relationship and that makes real faith more than something you believe.