Do you ever feel like what you have is not enough? Not enough money, friends, opportunities, community, possessions and the list goes on and on.
I find it a bit hard to write about this because it requires making a confession. You see, of late I’ve been feeling like all I have is not enough. Many times I have found myself asking for more in prayer. In fact, I think that all I have been doing is asking. I don’t remember a moment where every prayer hasn’t ended up with me asking. It would be all fine and dandy if I woke up and intentionally focused on saying thank you and not asking for more and more. However, that wouldn’t entirely solve the problem because this is not a ‘mind thing’ but a ‘heart position.’ The great thing with God is that He isn’t pouting in a corner waiting for me to come around. Instead, I have seen Him actively pursuing me and teaching me about thankfulness and stewardship in this season. I would like to share some of the lessons I have been learning in case anyone is going through the same. They include:
We can all agree on something: we don’t have nothing. If you have life, you have something. If you have good health, you have something. Basically, you have at least one thing to consider a blessing.
Often times, we fall into the comparison trap. We are blinded to the great blessings bestowed upon us because we are too busy desiring what others have. We are then caught up trying to get more and more in a bid to feel like we have enough to finally be content. I feel like that statement there exposes the root of the problem – a lack of contentment.
1st Timothy 6:6 (ESV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
I’m re-learning that true contentment doesn’t come from what I have; it comes from Who has me. Someone once said, “Until Jesus is enough, nothing else will be.”
So, until I am content with and in Him first, nothing else will ever be enough.
2. Count Your Blessings
If you went to the kind of Sunday school I went to, then you must know this song:
“Count your blessings name them one by one,
Count your blessings see what God has done,
Count your blessings name them one by one,
And you’ll be surprised to see what God has done.”
When you start to be present in every moment, recognizing everything that God has done for you, things get into perspective. Your eyes shift from “I want what they have. Why don’t I have what they have? Give me what they have.” Instead, it becomes “Thank You for everything you have done for/ given me.” Thanksgiving becomes a bubbling forth out of the realization of God’s kindness instead of a checklist you want to rush over in prayer before you can get to your shopping list.
Counting my blessings has helped me refocus and get out of destructive thought patterns brought about by comparison. It must be why this keeps ringing in my heart and has slowly become one of my favorite passages in scripture:
Philippians 4:6&7 (ESV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
3. Faithful with the Little
Picture this: You give me 100 Shillings ($1) and send me to get something from the shop. Instead of following your instructions, I turn the corner and buy whatever I feel like. I come back expecting you to give me 1,000 Shillings ($10) to go buy the same thing or something similar but bigger. Would you actually give me the 1,000 bob?
That’s the way some of us behave with what God has given us. We waste it or let it waste away as we pursue more. If I can’t expect my boss to give me more responsibility after absconding work for a whole month, why would I expect God to entrust me with more when I have been unfaithful with the little?
Luke 6:10&12 (ESV)
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”
4. The Parable of the Talents
Finally, closely tied to No.4 is the parable of the talents which is found in Matthew 25:14-30.
Am I (in a sense) like the servant who got one talent? When The Master returns, what will I have to say? “Oh, sorry! I was busy asking for more and ended up neglecting the little. So, here is the little that you gave me in its unused, un-invested form.”
I don’t want to be thrown out where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. So instead of letting comparison steal my joy and drive me to greed, I will till my little portion of land or invest my one talent so that The Master is pleased when He returns.
We are all works in progress. Personally, this is one of the things that I’m working through. I may not be at the finish line but at least I know what will keep nudging me in the right direction. I must be faithful with the little: faithful in thanksgiving, and in stewarding what I already have.
DOES COMPARISON AFFECT YOU IN ANY WAY? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH WHERE YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU HAVE? DO YOU HAVE HELPFUL TIPS OR SCRIPTURE ON MOVING PAST SUCH CHALLENGES? I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. 🙂