If the reports are true, Apple will announce the release of iPad 3 today.
Or maybe they’ll announce the long rumored Apple HDTV.
Or maybe some other amazing gadget that will be the coolest thing since sliced bread….except just a little bit cooler.
Whatever it is they’re about to release, I want one.
That’s not right. I don’t want one.
I covet one.
I have an iPhone, an old iPod touch laying around somewhere, and my wife has a Macbook, but what I really covet is an iPad.
Every time I see a commercial for one or see someone using their iPad at Starbucks I get more than a little bit jealous and start trying to rationalize to myself how and why I should spend $499 that I don’t have, wait, 16GB probably won’t cut it. Gonna need at least 32GB, better make that $599. And, you know, having 3G wouldn’t hurt, so let’s just call it $729. Sure, I have bills to pay, but that teenager shouldn’t be allowed to have one if I can’t have one too….a better one of course.
Ever had that conversation with yourself?
Maybe it wasn’t over an iPad, maybe it was a car, a house, or a new pair of shoes, but I think we all suffer from this disease. You can call it jealousy if you want. The Bible calls it coveting and lists it among the 10 commandments as something we shouldn’t do.
It’s a commandment I’m not proud to say I break a lot.
Which sounds sort of weird in today’s culture. We’re expected, if not encouraged, to want the next, biggest, and greatest things. We’re supposed to look at what our neighbors have and want it too.
So, what is the Bible’s hangup with coveting?
Does God just want us to be miserable and pretend like we’re not?
I don’t think that’s the case, at least I hope not.
I think the problem with coveting is that we lose sight of all the great blessings we already have. We forget about all the incredible things God has already done for us. When that happens it is we, not God, who has turned our back on the other. It’s essentially as if we’re telling God that God’s not doing a good enough job for us.
When God is nothing more than a genie in the sky who grants our every wish, then perhaps this frustration and the coveting that comes along with it are justified. But, if God is more than a magical genie, if God truly is the Author and Sustainer of life, then I think our problem with coveting really stems from a lack of perspective.
Did God give you an iPad, a new car, or a huge mansion to live in? Maybe not, but look at the world around you and realize just how incredibly God did bless you.
You don’t have to worry about where you will sleep tonight because you have a roof over your head that keeps out the rain and walls that hold back the wind.
You don’t have to worry about walking 10 miles for clean water because you only have to walk 10 feet to the kitchen to get something to drink.
You don’t have to worry about going hungry after your crops failed and your livestock died off because you can drive down to the grocery store and buy whatever you want to eat.
You don’t have to worry that a mosquito bite will literally be the death of you because you have access to some of the greatest medical care in the world.
You don’t have to worry that your friends and family will be snatched away in the middle of the night, raped, murdered, or conscripted into a guerilla army and forced to do those things to others.
You don’t have to worry because even though you may not have the latest, greatest toy, you are blessed beyond imagination.
Be thankful for that. Celebrate that. Share those blessings with those less fortunate than yourself.
And when the latest Apple toy is announced today, try not to covet what you don’t have. Instead, be thankful for everything that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in your life, always remembering this promise from Jesus….
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Grace and peace,