Tag Archives: Jealousy

How Thankful Are You, Really?

Walking down the streets of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, I came across a few middle school-aged boys playing with toy cars and trucks. What made it so unusual were the toys they were playing with.

But I’ll get to that in a moment… just keep reading.

The last I heard, Zimbabwe has between 8o% to 90% unemployment. Did you get that? Between 8 and 9 out of every 10 people are without a job!

Do you have a job? ANY kind of job? Well, then, you should be thankful, even if you can’t stand what you do.

But here’s another question: Do you play with toys you didn’t have to make yourself? Even you adults… Do you?

Right now there are probably some things you wish you had, but all you have is last year’s model. You are jealous of your neighbor and their new car, truck, or house. Your friend got a new smartphone. You feel like God has treated you unfairly because you can’t have what you REALLY want. Am I close?

Why not enjoy and be thankful for what you have? Frankly, most of the “problems” we have are what we call “first world problems.” In other words, our problems are the problems of the rich and the spoiled.

Yes, we are spoiled brats when we complain about not having the newest iPhone, the newest car, the newest video game, the next generation Glock, etc.

You see, here’s the thing… If you don’t have to make your own “toys,” you’re blessed way more than you deserve. And “blessed” might not be the best choice of words.

Below are some pictures of boys playing with the cars and trucks THEY made out of wire and bottle caps. They were having fun.

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Still have something to complain about? Why not share in the comment section. Maybe we could all cry together.

5 Comments

Filed under America, General Observations, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving

How Thankful Are You?

Walking down the streets of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, I came across a few middle school-aged boys playing with toy cars and trucks. What made it so unusual was the toys they were playing with.

But I’ll get to that in a moment… keep reading.

If you will remember, Zimbabwe has between 8o% to 90% unemployment. Did you get that? Between 8 and 9 out of every 10 people are without a job. Do you have job? ANY kind of job? Well, then, you should be thankful, even if you can’t stand what you do.

But here’s another question… Do you play with toys you didn’t have to make yourself? Oh, sure, many of you are grown up big people and don’t play with toys, right? Yeah, I get it. But do you?

Right now there are probably some things you wish you had, but all you have right now is last year’s model. You are jealous of your neighbor and their new car, truck, or house. Your friend got a new smart phone. You feel like God has treated you unfairly because you can’t have what you REALLY want. Am I close?

Why not enjoy and be thankful for what you have? Frankly, most of the “problems” we have are what we call “first world problems.” What does that mean? It means that most of what you and I complain about are only the kind of problems the rich and spoiled of the “first world” countries can have.

Yes, we are spoiled brats when we complain about not having the newest iPhone, the new car, the newest video game, the next generation Glock, etc.

You see, here’s the thing… If you don’t have to make your own “toys,” you’re blessed way more than you deserve. And “blessed” might not be the best choice of words.

Below are some pictures of boys playing with the cars and trucks THEY made out of wire. They were having fun.

img_2551

img_2549

img_2552

img_2550

Still have something to complain about? Why not share in the comment section. Maybe we could all cry together.

6 Comments

Filed under America, General Observations, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving

Comparing Testimonies?

Lunchtime Chatter

It was only after I had downed my turkey chili, and Haley (my daughter) had almost finished her brownie, that the conversation started with a fellow Panera Bread patron. She was a godly-looking lady sitting all alone in a quiet booth across from us, Bible to one side of her table, eating some soup.  I asked, “So, how many people do you think come in here for Bible studies?”

“A lot,” she answered with a smile. For the next few minutes we talked church stuff, especially who her pastor was.

Now, I am not going to name any names, but her pastor is a local dynamo of a leader. This guy is a great speaker, is in great shape, has a powerful voice, has seen fantastic growth in an already large congregation, and has his book for sale at Lifeway (well la-ti-dah). What’s more, once a year, due to overwhelming demand, he shares his testimony to overflowing crowds which are stunned to hear of God’s working in this man’s life (he was a former drug lord, or something).

Really? That’s cool,” I said. “That’s awesome.” Then, with a matter-of-fact tone that probably sounded something like, “Yeah? You think I’m impressed?” I told her, “My testimony is pretty boring…I was just the most self-righteous son-of-a-gun you’d ever meet, that’s all.”

Ahhh, really?” she replied.

“Yeah, nothing that special…pretty ordinary.” Then, after she showed me her pastor’s book, the one that her whole dadburn multi-thousand-member church uses for discipleship studies, I made sure she heard that I had also written a couple of books – one of which was 350,000 words long – and both are for sale at Barnes and Noble (insert adolescent-like tongue flapping sound).

It made her raise her eyebrows, so I was happy. Childish, I know.

Who’s Is Better?

Here’s the thing…why is it that we are so prone to jealousy? Here’s another thing…why is it that one testimony of God’s grace will draw a crowd, but others are thought of as run-of-the-mill and boring?

Here’s another ‘nuther thing…I can’t be you, and you can’t be me, and God knows what He’s doing….and every testimony of God’s saving grace cost Jesus the same amount of blood; it took the same cross to save this preacher’s kid as it did that big drug dealer who now pastors thousands.

No “testimony” is better than another. Sure, to our ears it may sound more dramatic to hear how God delivered a person from a life of gross sin and debauchery, but the real miracle is not about us – it’s about Him. The simple truth is that it takes just as much of a miracle to save a person who doesn’t think he’s ever done anything wrong as it does to save a man who knows he deserves hell.

Were you saved from sin? So was I. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14).

Testimony of Grace

Some of us have some great stories to tell, but all of us have a unique story to tell. Even though some pieces of the puzzle may seem bigger, no puzzle is complete without the smallest piece in place.

Don’t compare yourself to others who draw crowds with their stories; you are not them – you are YOU. You are you for a reason only God knows, and even though you may not be the one getting all the attention, you still play a critical part in God’s plan.

God created you for the sole purpose of bringing praise and glory to the name of Jesus Christ through your own, uniquely miraculous testimony. No one else can live your story; no one else can have your testimony.

The only one we need to compare ourselves to is Jesus. When we do that, it’s a miracle any of us are where we are today; we’re all a testimony of God’s grace.

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Depression, Do not judge, Life Lessons, ministry