- Exodus 20:17 ESV
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
- Psalm 23:1 NKJV
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
- Psalm 37:16 ESV
Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
- Psalm 73:1-5 MSG
No doubt about it! God is good—
good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way, looking up to the people
At the top, envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.
- Proverbs 14:30 HCSB
A tranquil heart is life to the body,
but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
- Proverbs 27:4 NIV
Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
- Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
- Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
- Luke 3:14 NIV
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
- Luke 12:15 HCSB
He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
- Romans 12:6 MSG
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
- Romans 13:13 NIV
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
- Romans 14:17 NASB
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 3:3 NIV
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
- Galatians 5:26 NASB
Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
- Philippians 2:3-4 MSG
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
- Philippians 4:11-12 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
- 1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
- Hebrews 13:5 HCSB
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you
- James 4:14-16 NIV
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
“He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things”
Psalm 107:9, NIV
There’s that moment on every Antiques Roadshow when the appraiser pushes his glasses back on his nose and leans in with excitement. “So, as to value . . .” he starts. And the item’s owner looks up with humble and cautious anticipation. This expert, who has spent all day telling people their precious items aren’t really rare or one-of-a-kind, that their genuine treasures are copies and fakes, that grandmother’s fascinating brush with fame never really happened—this expert places a breathtaking value on an object. A thing. A material substance made a treasure because it is unique, somehow special because of the famous person who owned it, or so wrapped up in story and history that the ordinary, everyday is transformed into a retirement fund.
I’ve seen rugs on that show worth more than my house.
At times, I watch that “thing” now deemed priceless and I wonder—what is hidden in my garage and stuffed in my closets? What bookshelf conceals my children’s college education? In what closet could I discover my dream home?
But, I’ve been through all my stuff and it is actually just stuff, perhaps priceless to me and valuable in my life for its utility or the way it connects me to the past, but nothing an appraiser would lose his breath over or call his buddies about.
So then I wonder, how is it that we human creatures can look at tangible objects formed of wood or stone or cloth and so arbitrarily place on them a price tag? This one picture costs as much as feeding a village of people in Africa. The cost of this antique toy could build a well in a village with no clean water.
Seems like something’s wrong here. Seems like the way we assign value is a little off.
That’s one of our problems, really. We don’t really know value when we see it most of the time.
And so when God pours Himself out for us and blesses us with good gifts, we sometimes mistake them for not enough and seek out everything that is “other” to fill us up instead. We keep telling Him we are empty and hold our hands out to Him for more, more, more. He offers us all that is good and true wrapped up in His presence, but it seems so simple and plain. Not enough. Meanwhile, we gorge ourselves on everything we believe will satisfy the deep yearnings and cravings in our hearts.
We pour into our hearts:
And it just seeps out of our souls, flowing out as quickly as we can dump it in. We don’t value what God offers as much as this worldly buffet of good eats around us. It’s ingratitude. It’s sin.
Ann Voskamp writes in One Thousand Gifts:
Satan, he wanted more. More power, more glory. Ultimately, in essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all humanity – the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave . . . Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.
It’s like the Israelites trekking through the desert. God rains down on them wafers of honey they named manna, miraculously, faithfully and abundantly every night as they sleep. It’s tasty and satisfying, nutritionally able to sustain them through long desert marches for 40 years. He graciously provides all they need and more and all while they rest. No toil involved. No effort on their part. All part of God’s generous provision for His people.
And yet, they complained. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted” (Numbers 11:5, NIV).
Nothing they owned, used or ate in Egypt was free. Everything came at high cost to them–they exchanged hard labor and 370+ years of bondage in slavery for fish and a salad bar.
Seems like something’s wrong here. Seems like the way they assigned value was a little off.
Adam and Eve were not satisfied with the fruit God had given them for food. The Israelites were not satisfied with the manna God miraculously laid at their feet every day. We aren’t always satisfied with God’s Word, with His promises to us, with His provision, with His direction.
Yet, Scripture assures us that God is fully satisfying.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV).
“These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things” (Psalm 104:27-28, NIV).
He “satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:5, NIV).
Have you felt empty, thirsty, hungry, plagued with holes that never allow you to be filled—not with joy, not with peace, not with hope? We are offered the Bread of Life and buckets of Living Water drawn up from a well that will quench our thirst eternally. We are offered Christ. Christ abundantly sufficient for our needs. Christ the once-for-all sacrifice to cover all our sins. Christ our Peace. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15, NIV).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King