the world i live in seems to promote a neverending awareness of the possessions of others. it does so internally, “i wonder if people notice the car that i drive” and an awareness externally, “i sure wish we had a nice house like them.” the bible refers to it as “coveting.” but to many of us, it’s more like a perpetual stream of consciousness.
this desire to have my neighbors’ life is dangerous to ourselves on so many levels: 1) striving for possessions begins to dictate our lives; 2) it negatively affects our relationship with others; 3) it keeps us from enjoying the joy of our life as it is; and 4) it leads to malice (desiring ill-will towards someone else).
in addition (and almost as a side note compared to the list above), this desire to “keep up with the joneses” causes us to keep up our appearance by hoarding possessions or purchasing items above our income level. our desire to prove that we have arrived causes us to focus attention on the accumulation of things.
this wanting of your neighbors’ life will forever haunt you and rob you of joy until you tackle the deeper issues of self-worth that are going on inside of you. the value of your life is not defined by the size of your home or what fills its shelves, the value of your life is found in your soul, your heart, and your actions. find that value apart from material possessions and the envy for your neighbors’ life will soon begin to fade.
find value in your soul through faith. find value in your heart by realizing your capacity to love. and find value in your actions by impacting a life around you.
when you do, the perfect luster of your neighbors’ life will begin to fade in comparison to yours.