My Journey to the Top

CORE-RELATE! Am I sinning if I covet (earnestly desire) or strive towards being a better me and having the finer things in life?

The Bible says that covetousness is a sin. My limited mind understands covetousness as something that stems either from envy or jealousy: twin sins packaged with insecurity. I think insecurity isn't a sin in itself but it shows how little or lacking one's faith in God is. To envy what others have, or to be jealous of their victory, is a symptom of a heart that lacks gratitude, contentment and trust in the Sovereign God.

So, if I say I am content in Christ, that I am His follower, am I betraying God by wanting the "finer" things in life, by striving to a better version of myself? Frankly, I think yes.

If I strive to be a "better version" of my self, I think I am on my own and chances are I will be lured into sin sooner than I finish this blog. However, if I not only strive but thrive (as I've learned from leadership expert John C. Maxwell) - thrive being myself as God designed me to be because I want to give Him the glory, then I will not have to struggle alone and be anxious about pursuing the finer things in life. They will instead be the results I will enjoy and share with others when I trust God and cooperate with Him. If this is my mindset then, I am on the right track; I am not sinning.

God did not create losers. But I think losers happen because there are people who choose to go their own willful ways and play god. I am not saying this without basis - I too was once a loser who didn't know any better. I thought that as long as I was in control, I'll be ok. My sordid past life proved otherwise and left me with "If only"'s that I would've been spared from "if only" I didn't play god.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

God is in the business of changing lives, or as is usually the case, enabling us to make a U-turn towards the path He has planned out for us. The power of God's redemptive love in Christ Jesus brought me to my knees and His grace made me realize that He created me for something much, much better than the life I've been trying to plan - or write -  on my own. I realized that I am loved in spite of the 'version' of me that I "created." I realized I am precious in the eyes of my loving Father. I realized I am unique in the eyes of my Creator. I realized that He loved me so much He didn't spare His own Son to rescue me so I can have life to the full. (John 10:9-11).

I know I am not indispensable and I know that God is able to do anything to refine me into the kind of person that He created me to be. He is my Father, I am His child, and He will discipline me when necessary. Like a Good Shepherd, He will break one of my legs if that is the best way to help me learn my lesson. Why? Because He is God! He owns me! My life is in His hands. Yet, as my Father is a loving, patient Father, He will also be the one who will put the balm on my broken leg. He also gave me the power of choice. I've just been so stubborn and self-willed that I have usurped such power for many years in my past when my Father desired that I choose instead to make full and good use of all the time, talent and treasures He has blessed me with -  His way, not mine.

But then again, God is good. He knows that I don't want to die a potential, a "could have been." He knows that I desire to please Him. And He knows how awfully hard it is to be "alone". He knows. That's why he chose The Twelve to walk and live and work with Him when He came here thousands of years ago. He lived a life that showed that God's treasure is in people. These days I am learning, by His grace, to choose His way, not mine and to trust His heart, not mine.

Scripture shows a person can use the advantages of "worldly wealth to gain friends." Yet if one depends on money to "gain friends," then that friendship is hollow. People in general like money and what money does and can do. Money is actually God's idea yet money isn't everything. Money isn't the root of evil, the love of money is and Satan has been quite "successful" over the centuries in instilling this kind of "love" even to well-meaning people. If having money becomes the end-pursuit of whatever I do, then I believe I am reaping for myself a destructible treasure that moth and rust can destroy and thieves can steal (Matthew 6:19-21). When Jesus was here, He gained friends and popularity not with money but with who He was. And so these days, I make it my goal to be the me that God designed me to be.

Jesus will come again, nobody knows when, and until such time I can choose to live "my" life as I want to or I can choose to have Him enable me to thrive being me and be molded more into His likeness. Jesus is the Goal. Whatever "resources" - time, talent, treasure - I have at my disposal right now is His. Money is just part of that treasure and if I put my security in how much money I have, if I covet money, then I am actually insecure in the eyes of God. So I choose to put my hope, my security, on God and "covet" His delight instead. At the end of each day, at the end of my life, my money won't matter to God. Only people will. As God's treasure is in people, I desire to work alongside people who allow themselves to be molded and polished by the Master Potter.

The journey to the top won't be all roses and there will definitely be lumps and bumps along the way but I am confident that as long as God is with us, as long as we work together and build each other up, "nothing's gonna stop us" from having the life that God has already prepared in for us to have! You are welcome to join me in this exciting journey!

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