Tuesday night at the dinner table, as Noel prayed before the meal, he thanked God for all our material blessings. This isn’t a routine part of our pre-dinner prayer, so in my mind I started wondering if he had found out about a Christmas bonus or a raise or some exciting news like that. Later, as I drove home from BSF, I realized how disgusting and sinful my reaction was. I had been sitting in a beautiful home, filled with furniture, food, clothing, and toys, about to eat one of many meals that could be prepared from our fully-stocked pantry–we have more than we could possibly need. And instead of joining my husband in being grateful for all the ways God has blessed us, I was thinking, “Is there more??”
It gets worse. I thought back on the things that consumed my thoughts during the day. I had contemplated whether or not I would ever own designer jeans, when I might be able to have a set of Lenox Christmas china, and when I might be able to afford a housekeeper. I spent time obsessing over the layers of fat around my stomach and spent too much time and money making sure that if I wasn’t able to look cute, my kids certainly would.
Then I remembered an incident a day or two before when Christopher had some kind of treat and wanted another one, and I admonished him for being greedy. “You need to be thankful that you got a treat–to want more is just being greedy.” And more layers of sinfulness started to peel back in my heart as I saw not only a shocking level of greed in my life, but hypocrisy as well. How will my children ever take my warnings about greed seriously if they see me chasing after more and more in my own life?
It was part of our BSF lecture that night that drew my attention to this particular pattern of sin in my life. In Matthew 9, Matthew gives his own testimony (verse 9). He was a tax collector, which means he was the most corrupt, hated man in town. He was becoming filthy rich by cheating his own people. When he left his tax collector’s booth to follow Jesus, he suffered a massive financial loss. But, as our BSF teaching leader pointed out, Matthew never mentions this material sacrifice. Because his heart had been transformed by Jesus’ amazing grace, it just wasn’t an issue for Matthew.
I am willing to give for Jesus. I’m willing to have less because I’m trying to glorify God with my finances. But I can’t say I don’t think about it. Sometimes I feel like I deserve a medal just for giving God what is His to begin with, and I look down on others who I feel aren’t being as holy as I am in this area, when in reality, I have a lot of work to do. I want to be like Matthew–to be so singularly focused on Christ that the things of this world are of no significance, except in how they can be used for God’s kingdom.
I’ll admit, this entry is not easy for me to post. I’m embarrassed about my thought life, and it would be much easier to keep it between God and me. I’ve thought a lot lately about why I’m keeping this blog. The two primary reasons are for my own growth as I grapple with issues and then go back and read the posts and remind myself of what God has been teaching me, and also as a legacy for my children to see what God was teaching me through them and others. The goal of this blog is to bring glory to God. So if I can be reminded in a few weeks to continue to repent of my greed, and if my children can someday see that I was trying to live with integrity as I taught them to not be greedy, then I’ve accomplished my goal. And if other women reading this are struggling with these same issues and are helped by my making this post public, then I hope God is glorified by that result.