A year ago, I won a copy of Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family: How to Thrive on Less Than Two Incomes! by Cathi Brese Doebler. As a mom, being home with my children while they are still young is a definite priority. I’m glad my husband supports this choice.
It’s not always easy, however, to stop comparing my life with our neighbors’. Many of them have in-ground pools and flat-screen televisions: two things we wanted when we moved into our home more than 12 years ago. While my brown (very, very brown) thumb and I struggle along to landscape the yard, my neighbors pay to have their lawns mowed and their yards professionally designed and maintained. While I can’t say money has ever been my master, sacrificing my family’s needs for the sake of having more “things” is a real temptation.
Temptations like this come to many of us. We live in a society where a person’s worth is often judged by his material wealth. When we turn to the Word of God, however, it is the stories of those who gave up worldly possessions to do what was right or those willing to give of what little they had that inspire us to look beyond earthly rewards.
- Noah was subjected to ridicule as he built the ark;
- Moses was raised as a prince, yet he cast that aside to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land;
- Luke 21: 1- 4 tells the story of the widow’s two mites–a woman who gave all she had while those around her gave from their surplus.
And then there is the story of Job, who had all a man could want in this world, yet Satan took it all away in the hope that he would turn his back on God. He lost his property, his family and friends, his health, and more. Because of Job’s faithfulness, God blessed him in the later years of life even more richly than he had before.
When the temptation to keep up with the Joneses is overwhelming, immerse yourself in these stories. Heavenly rewards reap a much greater benefit than any earthly reward.
It can be so tempting to compare myself to others. It is easy to be dissatisfied in a world of abundance. Please help me to focus my heart and soul on your plan for my life. Send your Holy Spirit to help me ward off the temptation to put material needs above the needs of my family.
I ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.