Be careful which sins you allow yourself to think you don’t have a problem with…
I tend to think of myself as not a covetous person. After all, I don’t crave fancy cars, high end jewelry, or a huge mansion. I certainly don’t need the latest gadgets, the newest computer, or designer jeans.
But I have come to realize, during the wee small hours of this morning, that I still do have a covetous spirit…
I think of the strawberry and raspberry plants that I managed to kill, and I wish I knew how to garden.
My four year old daughter tells me that she’d like to make a little yellow jacket for the baby, with little canary yellow buttons sewn on, and I wish I was a knitter, a seamstress, or both.
I visit friends’ homes that are beautifully well kept, with a place for everything, and everything in its place, and I wish that clutter wasn’t a constant battle for me. I wish it would come to me as easily as it seems to come to them.
I think of women I know whose husbands have home businesses, and I wish we could spend that much time together as a family.
I wish the zoning board would allow us to keep chickens.
I wish I weren’t allergic to cats.
I wish I weren’t such an untrained housewife, having to learn so much of this as I go, reinventing the wheel along the way, and wondering if I’ll even be able to learn how to keep order, and garden, and knit, and sew, in time to teach my daughter.
Not exactly the conventional definition of coveting, but coveting nonetheless.
I recently read a piece written by a woman, describing all the amazing things her mother did as a homemaker while she was growing up. The list was designed to show just how happy and productive a woman’s life inside the home can be, but it put me to shame and brought me to tears. How can I possibly be a good wife and mother if I can’t can vegetables, keep a beautiful flower garden, sew dresses for my daughter, and teach my children how to play piano, all the while keeping the house company-ready, just inviting opportunities for drop-of-the-hat hospitality?
I’m not good enough. How can I ever be good enough?
Then, it hit me like a train…
Comparing my weaknesses to the strengths of others, while neglecting to be grateful for the gifts and abilities God has given to me, is coveting at its lowest, and truly smacks of idolatry.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
While I’m pretty sure there isn’t a spiritual gift of house-cleaning–and if there is, I certainly don’t have it–I think the same principle can be applied. God did not create me to be the clone of Martha Stewart, June Cleaver, or anybody else for that matter. He made me, with all my weaknesses and shortcomings, to honor and glorify Him.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
Grace. Ah, yes…it all comes back to grace. How could I be more blessed than to be an object of His grace? Father, forgive me.
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9b
Boast about my weaknesses? I confess that I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m not even sure what that would look like.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; 2 Corinthians 12:10a
I read these verses, and words like “distresses”…”persecutions”…and a lump forms in my throat. When have I ever experienced real distress or true persecution?
Content…for Christ’s sake…am I?…could I really be?
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10b
LORD, I believe. Please help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)
May it be so, according to Your Word. Amen.