Life Lesson #15 - Hungry

Life Hack #15:

Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God—that’s where your future lies. Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

That ugly, green-eyed monster often known as jealousy or better known as discontent can grab onto us so quickly. Discontent breeds all manner of other issues, so it is best nipped in the bud before it festers and multiplies! Envy enters in anytime we think someone else has any advantage we don't have in life. We might not know how frequently we actually evaluate ourselves in light of what we see another "have" - whether it is knowledge, privilege, or possession. When we sense this "discontent" with what the other person seems to have or get, it can lead to a lot of ugliness in our lives we really don't want to deal with later on!

Discontent is really a sense of inequity. If you haven't already figured it out - all things are NOT equal in this life! We are all created different sizes, shapes, hair colors, skin tones, with different IQs, and born into different families. There is one place that makes the "playing field" level for all - the family of God. Regardless of station in life, aptitude, or attitude - all are equal in his eyes. All are sinners. All stand in need of a Savior. All have fallen short of the glory he intended for their lives. All need the sanctifying work of the cross. 

No one can make another grow any faster - even when well fed and in an environment which fosters growth. Growth is individualized and a response of one's inner man to the forces surrounding him/her. Growth, or maturity, may not be equal because we each embrace things we are taught in different times, perhaps even with different interpretations of what is taught, but learned from the same lesson. This makes us unique - equally human and in need, but not equal in the application of truth.

God knows discontent makes for a lot of messy stuff later on if allowed to take root. It damages relationships, causes us to struggle with issues of pride, and then leaves us just wanting more, but believing we will never have what it is we desire. Guard yourselves well against discontent because it will leave you destitute! Is it possible for discontent to drive us closer to God and his purposes in our lives? When it is recognized early and does not become a thing which drives us into the realms of envy and jealousy, that may be possible. Envy or jealousy carries the attitude of wishing "ill will" on another. It goes beyond motivating us to search for things which will drive us deeper into our relationship with Jesus - causing us to turn inward, feel deprived, and then complaining bitterly about our deprived state.

In the hands of God, it can be turned into an opportunity to open our arms and heart to receive something new from God - something we may not even have known we really needed in our life, but which he knows will bring us tremendous blessing. Discontent has a way of motivating us - but we need to make sure our motivations are God-driven. In the course of time, we will see that he takes this discontent with whatever our inability is, and he begins to drive us deeper into his hope, promises, and the privilege that comes with being a child of God. In this sense, discontent has an advantage in our life - it creates a hunger.

We need to be aware of our hunger, though - for not all hunger is to be fed. When discontent enters, the very best thing we can do is ask God if this is him creating the desire, or our "self" getting us into the region of envy. With this in mind, we will be sure to avoid the pitfalls of envy but allow godly discontent to be built into a driving force which propels us forward into the good things God desires for our lives. Just sayin!


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