Psalm 116:17 – I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of Yahweh. (HCSB)
James 1:17 – Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. (HCSB)
Luke 12: 15 – He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” (HCSB)
Why is it that we want what we don’t have? We don’t like change because we want things the way they used to be, or at least the way we “remember” the way they used to be. Our memories tend to look at the past with rose-colored glasses. Exodus 16:3 tells us that the Israelites looked back at slavery with longing, losing sight of the lifestyle to focus on the meals! We look with longing at the greener grass in the neighbor’s yard — also at the car, the new deck furniture, and all the other wonderful things they seem to have that we don’t! We would be so happy if only we had ……., each one of us has a personal phrase to complete that sentence. We just want more – more house, more money, more clothes, just more. Satan loves planting seeds of desire for what we don’t have and usually those seeds produce a bumper crop. Genesis 3:2-6 tells us of Eve in the Garden of Eden. She lived in a perfect environment with multiple varieties of abundant and luscious fruit, but with all she had, she wanted more. There was one fruit that she couldn’t have, and she became obsessed with what she was missing. The amazing garden went out of focus, and all she could see was the forbidden fruit. She began to focus on what she didn’t have and lost sight of God’s countless gifts. She became fixated on what was wrong with her life and took steps to right that wrong in her own way. Epictetus said “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Garth Brooks said, “Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you get.” I would say that happiness is being thankful for God’s provision. Being thankful makes us focus on all that we have been given instead of on what we think is being withheld. Being thankful stunts the growth of negativity. Gratefulness trumps grumpiness every time! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells me that it is God’s will for me to give thanks. Lord, today I give thanks not only with a grateful heart but also with a humble one. You bless me in so many ways. Please help me to turn my eyes to Your gifts and away from my greed.