I plead guilty. And I am not alone. I’ll bet the national debt that all of you would plead guilty to this as well. Jealousy. How many times have you looked longingly at the things possessed by someone else? If only I had a car like that! Oh, look at her hair, body-style, and wardrobe…she looks like a super model! How privileged he must be to afford a house like that! I could go on.
I have found myself on no few occasions wishing I was as popular as so-and-so or longing after my neighbor’s luxurious work schedule. Or, that I had grown up with endless amounts of money to be able to own a horse of such a caliber and be as successful and accomplished as Miss Perfect Dressage Diva at such a young age with sponsors coming out of her ears! How does one get thousands of Instagram followers? Recently, I’ve been battling with the looming feeling of perpetual singleness as my peers are standing at the altar exchanging I-dos on the happiest days of their lives. Where is my knight in shining armor? Oh, and if he comes riding up on a white stallion….I’ll take him too!
I have high ambitions, and perhaps they are too high and unattainable by a person of my stature. I am not special. I dabble with many hobbies, none of which I devote enough time to really master. Although, I do spend an exponential amount of time with the horses and pursuing a career in dressage; yet some days it feels like the only thing I have to show for it are my calluses and body aches. I finally splurged two dollars the other day to purchase my very first hair net. And the question that I grapple with everyday: Where do I go from here? How did everyone else do it?
I have just confessed to you that I am a fallen human being who struggles with feelings of jealousy. I stare at seemingly distant ideals that will never be mine. And yet, my friend, I am happy. When I repent of my selfish, autonomous desires the only thing that remains is contentment and happiness. Why?
Lusting after what someone else has is a vain attempt at finding happiness. If only I had x, y, and z, then I would be happy. As the congressmen unanimously declared in July 1776: “we are endowed by our Creator of certain unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And I ask, how do we attain these things? I will be the first to declare that I am a sinner who deserves death in the sight of said Creator as I have continually broken His laws. Sure, I am still alive in this physical world, but free? I am chained to these thoughts of greed and jealousy and think only of my own gain. No one could ever be truly happy if this is what drives him. Even if he becomes rich and famous there is always something else beyond, and he pushes for it with a selfish resolve caring not who he tramples on his way. I tell you, this seems like no life, liberty, and happiness. So how do we get it?
I am inclined to go with the One who says that if I follow Him I will never thirst again. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! The wages of sin is death, and yet Christ died for our sins. Thus through faith in Him we are spared the condemnation due us. And the best part? Death could not hold Him and He is risen! This life has been gifted to us. Not only do I have life but I am promised eternal life in the presence of Him! Freed am I from the chains, damnation, and eternal suffering! There is so much more to life than the amount of stuff that we have. Popularity, fame, and riches are but chaff and hopeless, terminal pursuits.
Coincidentally, as I write this I am listening to the song I Confess by Tenth Avenue North:
I try to linger in the sunlight
Every day I’m alive
But at night, the restlessness takes over
And I’m scared of what’s inside
I confess, I admit, I look for life outside of You
I repent, I’m coming back to the only joy that’s true
I don’t want to look in a stranger’s eyes
When I come into this place
Let me grow familiar with the lines
The lines upon Your face
One thing is all I will ask You
To feel my heart satisfied
To know You, trust You, love and behold You
Savior, only You are kind
Notice where joy and satisfaction are found. My happiness is contingent upon whether Christ came or not. And I tell you, my friend….He did. My soul has salvation, I am free from my burdens, and I am happy.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25
So join me in repenting of covetousness, and unite with the bridegroom of Christ; in whom is found ultimate contentment, joy, and peace.