Do you ever feel like we live in a culture that doesn't always know the meaning of enough? We always seem to want more. The American dream is built on hard work and everyone wants to be a success story. So we keep working, reaching, straining to get what we want. The big surprise I've discovered is that once I get it, I'll see something else newer/nicer/more expensive and I want that too. It's a vicious cycle!
I'm not saying it's not wrong to be ambitious or to want more out of life. It's just at some point we need to ask ourselves "when is enough, enough?" Philippians 4:11 says "I have learned to be content with whatever I have."
The second question we need to ask ourselves is when we see someone with something new, are we green with envy? Jealousy can suck the life out of us if we are more focused on what we don't have than on what we do. Envy destroys our relationships if we are more concerned about what others have than about who they are. Jealousy really doesn't help anyone - it puts distance between us, which in turn keeps our relationships from growing. There will always be people that have the latest styles, the newest vehicle, the most advanced phone or electronic gadget, and let's face it, some people will always have more money, possessions or success than we do. It's all in how we see our life. Living the life God has given me is healthier and far more rewarding than being jealous of others.
Ask your teen...
To whom do you compare yourself?
Do you experience jealousy or envy easily?
Is it more important for you to live up to the world's ideal or to be like Christ?
How can you begin seeking God's approval instead of the world's?
Challenge your teen...
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Prayer prayers of gratitude.
Take off the coat of envy and jealousy and put on the cloak of compassion and kindness.
Lord, thank you for your blessings. Help us always to recognize these gifts, to find joy in them and to share what we have with others. Amen.