Coveting and Clinging in Times of Financial Loss

I distinctly remember the day that I revealed my heart about our unemployment situation. I was sitting with a friend outside at work and lamenting about our horrible circumstances. I said something to her like this,

"I don't understand why this is happening to us! We are good Christians, we give to our church, we have tried to do things right, put our kids in Christian School or home schooled them to instill good values. We have worked in ministry for years and years and other people I know have done nothing and they aren't having these problems! They have enough money, they are not barely scraping by, losing jobs and all that. I know people who don't even believe in God and they have a better life than I do! Why can't I have a new car? Why am I wearing clothes from goodwill after all I do for God? Why should I suffer like this?"

My friend said something to me that really changed my whole perspective. She said something like,

"yeah, I remember when I was struggling with being covetous too."

I had NO idea that I was being covetous! I was only trying to understand what I was dealing with but I revealed something very important about my heart with my verbal tantrum. I had some really goofed up theology in those moments. I mistakenly believed that because I was in God's service that He somehow owed me something, and that because others have not served Him the way I have that they don't deserve to have anything either!

When a person is covetous, they have the belief that because they cannot have something on their own that they should be able to take what belongs to another. I would like to emphasize that I really was clueless that I had such an attitude!

It is hard to watch other people "have" when you "have not" that is for sure! But to turn it towards godly thinking, you must ask yourself, "What is God trying to teach me during this time?"

Have you made an idol of stuff? Did you spend the money you made on supporting a lifestyle that was more about stuff than people? Let me tell you, I have lived for a year now with most of my stuff in boxes waiting to move from here. It is amazing to see the stuff you can do without, and I probably didn't need in the first place!

I know there are people that had two income households to support a lifestyle that was one of excess and enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with benefiting from your labor of course but for too many women, working became a way to just get more stuff.

Do you have an attitude of entitlement? If you have thought thoughts like I did, it is most likely inescapable that you believe in your heart God owes you something for your faithfulness to Him. This was very frightening for me to realize, because I was completely unaware that I had persisted in those kind of thoughts for a long time.

God owes us nothing. He does not owe us jobs, or homes, or 401k's. Jesus did not have a home, and used a rock as a pillow (Luke 9:58).

God does not as much care about what your circumstances are, but how you are going through those circumstances. What is the attitude of your heart as you experience loss or potential loss? Are you ranting at God for all He owes you or should enable you to keep?

In the beginning I did not want to lose my house or to give it up. I wanted to hold onto it for the memories and all that we put into it over the years. My dreams and such about my family being here meant a lot to me, but over time I began to realize how foolish that was. An examination of your belief system is in order during this time too.

What things are really, really important to you?
What kind of a legacy do you want to leave?
If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?

Just some questions for you to think about and meditate on over the weekend. Take the time to write out your answers and see what God reveals about your heart.

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