From Kevin Funk…
How many times in our lives have we uttered the phrase “all I want for Christmas is a ____”. Growing up on a farm there were many memories of Christmas and all that goes with the season leading up to opening presents. Every year there was this one thing that I wanted. Some years I would unwrap what I already knew I had, and other years I wouldn’t get what I thought I was getting. My favorite gift as a child was a race car set called Cliffhangers. It was a Plastic racetrack with side by side cars on a magnetic track that are controlled by a pistol grip trigger to control the speed. I’m sure I logged more laps than the Brickyard 🙂
What makes us think during this time of year that we should receive something? Were we good boys and girls throughout the year? Or maybe we just deserve something because of some awful circumstances we had to endure. Those two words, I WANT, can do a lot of damage. Ever since we were brought into this world, we seem to want something. You can close your eyes right now, and in about 3 seconds envision what that something is. Bigger house, newer car, better looking body, the newest decor, the latest gadget, someone else’s ability to do whatever.
Recently I have been hit right between the eyes by the Holy Spirit with a sin I did not know I was struggling with. A few days ago I listened to a sermon that was all about the 10th commandment. Do not covet. Conviction was an understatement as I was thinking of others throughout the message. The Holy Spirt was like “that’s you dude”. I teared up because I couldn’t believe this sin was growing in my heart for quite a while. The problem with coveting is that this is a sin that no one else can know about because it deals with ones own heart. You can pretend all day that other people’s possessions don’t bother you, but on the inside you mumble to yourself things like…must be nice…or how do they afford that?….or that would look great in my house or driveway.
Proverbs 4:23 says; Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do, flows from it. Many of the Ten Commandments are broken because of the problem of coveting. Stealing, adultery, having other gods. Coveting causes us to desire something other than what the Father wants for us. How many times have we got something as a gift and we say to ourselves, that is not exactly what I had in mind. With so many options here in America, it’s really easy to want an upgrade to what we already have. Even though what we have works just fine, we want the chrome trimmed one, or the Chevron designed one. (Yes I’m married and know what Chevron is). Or maybe the Smart, LED, 3D TV.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. God of course likes to give out blessings to his children. Having nice things is not a sin. Like I was saying earlier it’s the matter of the heart. Why are we buying this thing or wanting that thing? Justification can also creep into our purchases too.
So how do we deal with this sin? Contentment. Contentment is the antidote. If we were perfectly happy with what God has already given us, would there be a coveting problem? God can give us this contentment through daily prayer with our Father as we draw strength from Him. Here is what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13, I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. The Bible also says Godliness with contentment is of great gain. Contentment is not what we want, but what the Father wants for us. During this Christmas season, find your contentment through what God has already allowed you to have, and find joy in other people’s gifts.