“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”–Exodus 20:17
The above verse sounds reasonable. If we obey this commandment after all we receive many rewards, namely: contentment, friendship void of jealousy, peace. However in the past few years I have found myself guilty of breaking the above command and as a result my heart became full of discontentment, bitterness…perhaps even hate. So, when looking at God’s commandments I fully understand that He did not give them to us simply to impose silly rules, rather, He gave commandments (laws) such as the one above for our own good, for our own health and peace of mind and soul
As many of you know, I am a single mom (as are many of my friends, and some have it much tougher than me). I found myself looking at posts on Facebook for example in which friends or acquaintances would post on how they are going or have gone on vacation for long periods of time at expensive and exotic places. Or I would see friends post on how they went shopping and bought such and such, or went to this or that event. Or, they enrolled their kids in such and such sport or activity. Bitterness grew. I couldn’t afford any of the above. What hurt more is some of the friends new my situation and unreasonably I felt as if their posts were some passive aggressive way of insulting and putting salt on an already festering wound (I realize how silly this sounds, and I realize this was far from their intent).
As a single mom (and many of you single parents out there can totally relate to this) my biggest aim in life is to make my kid’s every dream come true, to teach them right from wrong, to show them how to be respectful and to create memories that are amazing and that they will never forget. So…I coveted…i coveted to be a stay at home mom, I coveted to be able to go on vacations every year, I coveted to be able to give my daughter horse riding lessons and to enroll my sons in sports, I coveted to be able to go shopping for nice things for them and for me, I coveted to be in someone else’s situation….I judged those who had it better than me.
How many of you single parents can relate? How many of you daydream and night-dream of an easier more worry free life? And even those who are not single parents may find themselves feeling as I did. Still, no matter how ‘right’ you might feel you are coveting is bad. It doesn’t just destroy your relationship with friends and maybe even relatives, it destroys you. It’s a subtle disease that creeps into your heart, it becomes embedded there and only God can heal that and give you (and me) contentment. Once you covet what someone else has…it’s a long road back to peace and contentment because you have to change (repent of) the way you think and feel. This is what Jesus Christ asks of us…not just because it’s a law, but because it will heal our souls (and even body).
Recently, God did give me, my kids, my mother and sister the gift of a vacation (we have not been on one in many years), we were able to save and go…and then along the way I ended up putting pictures of my lovely kids in full joy mode on Facebook…then I remembered how I felt when I saw others post such pictures and it really changed something in me….so I will say to you who feel hopeless, tired, burnt out, almost ready to fall: Don’t give up. Don’t look to the left or right or on Facebook and let yourself be discontent because eventually things do change, miracles do happen, and God sees your hurting and longing heart. Look to Him because He is the one who provides for the fatherless (or motherless), he sees the deepest part of your heart and He is the one who will provide rest. If you are angry that you do not have this or that, tell Him (He is not a fool that you can hide what you feel behind pretty or false words and he sees what is behind that anger–namely: pain.). Cry to Him, I assure you, He WILL answer you, just you watch.