Envy rears its ugly head at the most unexpected times. Recently, I was watching “Shark Tank,” a TV show featuring very wealthy people. The basic premise revolves around a panel of business moguls who evaluate the merits of various business ventures being pitched. The show begins with a montage of several super-rich business tycoons traveling in their private planes and chauffeured limousines.
As I watched, I caught myself imagining someone driving me around in my fancy limo and entertaining the notion that this lifestyle could somehow meet my deepest needs. That’s called “envy” folks. Thankfully, God interceded and brought to mind a convicting thought experiment:
Suppose the government mandated that no one could own or even drive a car–that everyone had to travel in a government limo, driven only by government employees. Furthermore, assume that after many years under this system, the government began allowing people the option to own and drive a car, so long as the individual paid an inordinate sum that only the very wealthy could afford, and provided that car was a Kia. Now I have nothing against Kias, but I’m sure I’ve never pulled up next to one and thought “Wow! I need to get one of those!” Nevertheless, under these conditions, how long would it take before you were envying the wealthy individual driving next to you in his Kia, while you, begrudgingly, had to be driven around in a black limousine?
Take a few moments to indulge in this thought experiment for yourself. It’s hard to mull over this concept without becoming profoundly convicted of the futility of it all. Grasping for the things the world tells us we need is like trying to catch a butterfly with our bare hands–always just out of reach.
The next time the world tries to “throw in your face” how happy you’d be with some new material possession, reach deep down to that place in you where God shows you every day that all you really need is Him. Hebrews 13:5 puts it this way: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
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