I've been wrestling with this topic lately, well actually, I've been wrestling with it for years, but it seems to be more lately.
I'll be out somewhere, I'll bump into a friend from the past, she'll tell me all about her life, her kids, her house and her husband. God isn't in her dream-life, but still I feel my stomach clinching and wishing it was my life. Or, I'll be looking at photos, plastered for the world to see, thanks to databases like Facebook, of friends, current and from the past and see their smiling faces as they drink the night away and part of me thinks, hmm, wish I could have been there. A guy from college, messages me and tells me about his great job, making lots of money for very little effort, for a business with poor ethics and selling a product that is of low moral character, but yet I still think....hmm, wish I could pull something like that off.
And the jealously builds up inside, like a thick, green slim, polluting my heart and mind. The old sinful nature, still loving everything the world has to offer! Confused I think.....if I wasn't a Christian there would be no limitations on my life, date who I want without considering the person's relationship with Christ, attend endless social occasions and drink the night away, instead of spending a quiet night at home or have a job that came with a significant income, but in an unethical way.
I find myself screaming in my head....Laura..stop thinking like this, it's ludicrous! Why do I so often forget the Hope I have within me??
One of the devotional books I read recently had an article on this very subject. They used the example of Moses as mentioned in Hebrews 11:24-27.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
Moses could have had anything he wanted, he was Pharaoh's daughter's son, with all the pleasures of the world at his fingertips. But Moses threw it all away and in view of the world he was a fool but in the eyes of God and his followers he was a wise man. He saw the pleasures of sin for exactly what is was........ SIN! He knew there was a tomorrow and an eternity. He knew the pleasures of the world would not last. He wasn't choosing between pleasure and no pleasure, he was choosing between the pleasures of the world and the pleasures of eternity.
What if Moses hadn't made this choice, he would be just another person from history, instead of being known as a man who lived for all the right reasons. Can you imagine if Jesus had decided to take personal pleasure over dying on the Cross? I can't imagine where I would be today!
So next time I am sensing some jealousy, longing for the world, I will remind myself to be like Moses and stay focused on the pleasures of God!