Monday, February 11, 2008

The Envy Beast

Today's Daily Soap {Scripture | Observation | Application | Prayer}
  • S: 2 Samuel 12:1-13
  • O: David, the King, wants everything. In fact, he has everything. But wants more. He wants it all to himself, while at the same time wanting to appear generous and kind. Though David had land, and servants, and wives, he wanted more. And he had grown accustomed to taking what he wanted. He killed a man to take his wife. And David was fine with it all, and felt that he himself could do no wrong. In fact, when David's friend Nathan came to him with the story of a man who had stolen a poor man's sheep to feed a rich friend, rather than feeding the rich friend from his own flock, David was furious. Rather than recognize that the story was about him, David insisted that the thief be hunted down and lynched -- that he pay four times the price as punishment for his stinginess (of not feeding the guest his own lamb). Only after Nathan pointed out that the man in the story was he, did David realize his sins. This realization led him immediately to repentance, to ask God for forgiveness. As a man of God, Nathan spoke the obvious, that God would forgive David's sin. God, speaking through Nathan, told David that he would still pay a price for the blasphemy of his behavior.
  • A: Envy. It's so easy to see something and what it for myself. A house, a car, a new electronic gadget. I'm not an overly worldly man. I've never been plagued much with envy. I don't often see something someone else -- or see something in the store -- and just have to have one for my own. But I'm a gadget geek. And I love to read. And frequently I'll see a new book out, or the latest tech toy, or some similar item, and the desire for that new gadget or that new book can be almost overwhelming. While I would never kill or steal to satisfy the envy, it can be quite tempting at times to take money from one line in the budget and put it toward my latest gadget desire. And isn't that a form of stealing? Stealing from myself, sure, or from the needs of my family. Maybe waiting one payday longer to pay a bill so I can have a shiny new this or that? And in the end, who suffers? I'm happy with my new book or tech toy, and all is well in my world, right? But that bill might be earning interest or late fees, or my family might be doing without something that they need or want. And when my family suffers, who really loses? All of us.
  • P: Lord, help me to realize that the things of the world are just that, the things of the world. Help me to turn my desires toward You, and inward toward my family. Help me to overcome the Envy beast, and to know when that new book or that tech toy will fit into the budget without sacrificing elsewhere -- and when it won't fit into the budget at all. Help me to recognize the importance of being a good steward of all that you've given me and my family, and to manage our belongings in a way that would please and serve you.
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