Learn to Be Content
“Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need” (1 Corinthians 4:7-8 The Message).
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have and what didn’t happen, you can choose to be grateful for what you do have and what has happened. This doesn’t come naturally, not even for the apostle Paul, who said, “I have learned to be content.” Being content is a learning process.
It’s hard to admit we struggle with envy because it’s such an ugly emotion. When you’re envious of others, you really want them to fail, because it makes you feel better that they don’t have more than you. That’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? If we can learn to be grateful for what we have, we can begin to get rid of these feelings of envy.
It’s important to understand that envy is not about having a desire or a dream or a goal. It’s good to have those. Envy is not about looking forward to something or hoping that something can happen in your life or even wondering if you should have some thing. Instead, envy is resenting somebody who has already obtained what you desire or who has reached a goal you have yet to attain. Envy says you can’t be happy until you get that desire or reach that goal. Envy is not being grateful for what you already have.
The Bible tells us that we already have more than we need and far more than we deserve. Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God, and it is up to him to decide when and how he blesses us. It’s up to us to choose to be grateful and make the most of what we’ve been given.
Talk it over
What factors or situations seem to trigger the “envy issue” in your life?
How has envy negatively affected relationships in your life?
What is one practical way you can practice gratitude today?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.