23 February 2014
I have a strong tendency to compare myself with others. I do it quite instinctively and it often happens in subtle ways.
Before i know it, i am either jealous or envious of someone or i am frustrated at my life for not measuring up in a certain way. Either way, it leaves me quite unhappy and quite restless.
James warns specifically about this kind of worldliness. He said:
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions and pleasures are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions or pleasures.”
I think James hit the nail on its head. With each question he posed and each answer he gave, it almost hit the nail for my condition each time. Perhaps i do not go as far as to quarrel or fight with others but certainly there are passions and pleasures at war within me. i desire to have the comforts and pleasures of life along with all the other godly things – hoping that both will increase! Certainly, there is nothing wrong with being rich, it’s just a matter of how i use my resources when i am rich – i tell myself.
But then James really seals it tight and leaves me no room for selfish manoeuvre when he continues with this:
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
i believe there are true godly Christians who are not friends of the world but are wealthy at the same time. But i think to be godly also means that they do not seek after this wealth. It is the seeking that we fall. James gives me both a warning but also a way out of unceasing striving and mental torture when i buy into the lies of the world and am tempted to seek after wealth. There is a sigh of relief when i am reminded by His Word that i am not to, and do not need to seek after all this wealth. i am not out to make friendship with the world but friendship with God. And the two do not co-exist. I cannot serve both God and Money. Either i will hate one and love the other.
When i am reminded that i cannot seek after both God and money, i am for some reason comforted and i am momentarily released from a burden and strain of serving two masters. Jesus said:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I much rather serve Jesus than serve money, for i know the burden of money is heavy and hard, and i will never find rest for my soul in serving money.
Father God, help me defeat the lies of the world with Your truth and Your Word. Praiase Your Name and Your Spirit of Truth. Your word cuts through all the lies and Your Spirit searches my heart and mind. Thank you for guiding me and telling me to leave the heavy and hard load behind and follow You.