Leaving God to go back to the pleasures of this world would be the same as leaving a table spread with a warm feast for a cold turkey sandwich. Doing so would leave us feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and downright foolish.
Still, sometimes when we see the “beautiful” and “successful” people of the world, we can be tempted to envy them and feel as if we’ve gotten the shorter-end of the stick.
In sin, they seem to be prospering while we’re living holy and struggling. They seem to have everything they could ever want but we may be surviving on rations and hand-me-downs. On the surface, they seem to have everything a person could ever dream of —- money, looks, popularity, a great-looking and equally-rich spouse, and here we are serving the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords but we have none of that.
If we’re not careful, these little thoughts can begin to seep through and take root in our heart, making us feel bitter about serving God because we feel like we’re missing out on something. But as the wise-old saying goes: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
For example, how many times have we heard about some of the most beloved celebrities taking their own life after a lifetime of hard work and achievement? Sadly, too many times, right? In the end it was all for nothing. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 KJV)
It leads us to wonder what could possibly make such a person want to end their time here on earth early. In most cases, it’s because in the midst of all the things the person may possess, real joy, peace, and purpose are not among them.
This is because the world can only deliver on its promise to provide temporary pleasure and momentary satisfaction but nothing of real substance. As a result, a person is left searching for something more, but they become lost because they can never find it. The world provides a constant hunger that can never be satisfied.
The Bible tells us to not be envious of the wicked: “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2). Sure, it may look like they have it all now, and according to the standards of the world, they might. However, those things will eventually fade away as they are only temporary.
Money is fickle, cars break down, and houses are destroyed in the fire. Friends leave, popularity is but for a season, and money-making youth and beauty will one-day fade. True joy, love, peace, and satisfaction can only be found in a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.
If we, as true followers of Jesus, are blessed to have an abundance of material things, then praise God. However, I don’t think the majority of us fall into that category.
But that doesn’t mean that we’ve gotten the short-end of the stick or that we’re missing out on anything. Look at it this way — we have more opportunities to build trust and depend on God, which is something more valuable than silver and gold.
There’s no reason for us to be envious of evil gain because each day we’re storing up our incorruptible treasure in Heaven, which we’ll eventually enjoy for all eternity, with our Savior Jesus Christ.
So, we don’t desire to be part of what’s going on across the bridge, but we pray for others to find their way over to the Lord’s side. Neither do we fix our eyes on the material things of this world, but instead we look to God with our hearts and minds set upon our Heavenly home, which is our hope and our treasure that is to come.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
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