Why is it so hard to be thankful for the things we already have? I was challenged with that thought today. I cannot even name all the ways I have been blessed throughout my life. The very fact that I am alive today is a testimony of how much I have been blessed. Yet, it seems like I am always willing to by-pass what I have for the things I don’t. I don’t know why it seems to happen more often than I would like.
I am sure I am not the only person who suffers in this fashion. I see it happen when my little nephew plays with his toys. There could be a room full of toys in a small area. When I sit next to him and pick up a toy he isn’t even playing with, he looks at me, sees the toy I am playing with, notices that I am enjoying the toy, and puts the toy he was playing with on the floor, and grabs the toy I was playing with out of my hand.
The only reason he wanted to play with the toy I was playing with is due to the same thing I struggle with all the time: I continually want things I currently do not possess. Here are a couple of examples from my own life that I struggle with:
I have a nice car that gets great gas mileage. Every time I drive down the road though, there always seems to be a nicer car or a more expensive car that I instinctively say, “I would love that!” At times, it is absolutely ridiculous. I also have a few great friends that speak into my life and challenge me to live my walk with Christ well. When people end up getting married or start new relationships with the opposite sex, I seem to forget how blessed I am with what I have and complain that I am not in a relationship with someone. I would rather whine and get upset – or even worse, I end up being jealous of my friends. Having those few friends that know you well is important. I couldn’t make it to where I am right now if I didn’t have them a part of my life. Me being jealous of them or getting upset that I am not in a relationship with someone is no different than my little nephew taking a toy out of my hand when he already has a perfectly good toy in his.
It is not wrong to want things. It is also not wrong to want nice things. Having things is not the problem either. The problem is when we take for granted the things we possess and desire things that other people have. That is called coveting. It is wrong to covet your neighbor’s stuff. Why? When we do that, we oftentimes forget what God has given us and end up complaining.
I think this year; I need to ask God to help me enjoy the things He has given me. I am so blessed. And, though I desire to be in a relationship and have nice things, I have a lot of great things in my possession right now. I need to be thankful for those things and take care of them. Perhaps when I lest expect it, God will provide other things – things I am longing for – when I learn to be thankful for the things I have. This holiday season, I hope you will join me in learning to be content with what God has given you. It is my personal challenge to myself and to you. God bless.