Philippians 4:11, “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Let us see what the full definition of covet is: 1. to want (something that you do not have) very much 2. to wish for earnestly <covet an award> 3. to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately. Romans 13:9 says, “Do not covet.”
And the definition of envy is: 1. painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage obsolete: malice 2. the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has God asks us to be content with what we have. He gives us our daily needs. But is envy just of materialism? No! As I spend time in prayer, God spoke to me saying envy is wanting what others have, be content with what I have given you. God spoke into my husband and I in September 2011 to learn to be content with what we have. All my life I have struggled with believing lies, dealing with being bullied, which led to food addiction and to obesity. In 2009, God started me on a health journey, seeking council from doctors (gravity and I don’t agree). In 2011, God blessed me with a health challenge make over. Over the last few years we have dealt with deaths of both mothers. I offered my body as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to him. I started feeling good about myself as God helped me reduce 100lbs off the body I had created. I was even up to 2 hours of exercising, 5-6 days a week. May 2015, I was at the gym and my knee just felt different. School was coming to a break, church camp was upon us for the month of June. I took a break from intense exercise and gained 15lbs. In November, a doctor scheduled scope surgery. I had multiple tears in my meniscus, also learning of a bone spur that had to be removed, and stage 3 & 4 arthritis with no cartilage. My heart sunk being told medically I need a total knee replacement. See, my mom lived with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis for half her life. She went through 30 surgeries before going to be with The Lord, after her body fought through the disease of cancer for the last 2 years. So my thoughts started conforming to the world (my moms). Be content! My sister reminded me, I am not mom, I am healthier. I learned this morning, as God spoke to me, that I have been envying another figure (body image) than the one I have. We are to be content with what God has given us. God works for the good of those who love him, He will bring us to completion and maturity. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, lean not on our own understanding. God is a good father, and I have to remind myself daily to thank him that I am not who I used to be, though I am not where I want to be. I can take refuge in knowing that He has plans to prosper me. Isn’t this the goal anyway, to strive to be better than we were yesterday, to grow closer to God? We have to find our true identity in Christ. What does it look like to be content? Being pleased or satisfied, not needing more. God is enough for each of us. Reflection: What is it in your life that you are envying or coveting? Here are some steps you can take to recognize them:
- Seek first his Kingdom and Righteousness
- Ask God to show you. What are some healthy goals to keep that stronghold from overcoming you again? Whom can you help share your story to so they know they are not alone and you can help them to overcome their stronghold? Think about this today as you go about your day.
Lord, today we come to you and ask that you shine a light on any area where we struggle with not being content in what you have given us. It may be with our home, car, weight, or love. I ask that you come into our hearts and replace what once was envy or covet with peace and contentment in all things. My we only strive to bring glory to your name through our faith and actions. In Your name, amen.