Are you envious of someone? Do you covet what they have, whether material possessions or a relationship? Have you sought out acquiring what they have on your own? Have you asked God to provide for your needs?
Our culture is an envious culture. Think not? Look at what the “cool kids” have and ask how many other kids want the same thing. Observe what the latest fashions are for the music or television stars and see how many people you meet who are wearing something very similar, if not the same thing.
Have you ever known a relationship to be disrupted or perhaps torn apart because someone else wanted a relationship with one of them? I’m guessing most of us have seen it happen or know someone who has seen it happen. It all stems from being envious or jealous, coveting what someone else has.
Being called to love as God loves us does not include being envious. In fact, we are told specifically not to be envious or covetous. Yet, we see it on a regular basis, even within the church. We are called to a higher standard, the standard of Christ.
As James states, our covetousness can cause fights, dissention, splits, and even death. If we are in need, we are to ask God to provide. We are to discern the difference between need and want. Too often, we interpret our wants as needs. We fail to trust God to provide for our needs. We do not trust God to know better than we do. We do not love Him for providing for our needs.
God loves us dearly and desires us to love Him and one another in the same way. When we love as God loves, we do not envy nor covet. We trust God to know what is best for us. We choose, purposely, to be happy for the person who has what we do not.
I pray we all choose to give up our covetousness. I pray we stop being envious. I pray each one of us chooses to love as God loves and be happy for those who have what we do not. Stop quarreling over things. Be happy for one another. Love one another as God loves you.
James 4:2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.