(An excerpt from our “Blessings” Lesson)
“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one Blessing after another.”
– John 1:16 (NIV)
We are often advised to count our Blessings, but they are far beyond number, like trying to focus on an individual rain drop in a torrent of generosity. And like rain, Blessings are meant to flow downward and disperse, so that the entire land may flourish. Despite this daily bounty, we often lose sight of the Blessings right in front of our eyes; focusing on
what we lack, instead of what we have been so graciously granted. There is always someone richer, more attractive, more successful, more fortunate. We have sight only for things beyond our front door; taking our health and families for granted, as we coldly fixate on a coworker’s salary, a neighbor’s possessions, a celebrity’s lifestyle, a competitor’s market share or another’s power. These outward eyes foster envy, bitterness and a covetous nature, leading those so Blessed, to complain to God about the unfairness of their situations.
It is interesting to note that nine of the Ten Commandments cover behaviors, but only one deals with emotions and perspective. ‘Thou Shalt Not Covet’ is by no means the least of the Commandments, for as we crave what others possess, we are seduced into breaking other Biblical restrictions. We may be tempted to lie, cheat and steal, because we feel we deserve a larger piece of the pie. We may fantasize about killing, in order to acquire the power or influence of another. We may be lured into adultery, as we covet the beauty of another’s spouse. Envy begets desire, which encourages sin. All the while, Satan whispers that we deserve more and more and more.
“A contented mind is the greatest Blessing a man can enjoy in this world.”
– Joseph Addison (Author 1672-1719)