Two Signs Your New Year May Not Be Off to the Best Start…

watch night

Hello World,

If you were shot in the back during your church’s New Year’s Eve Service like Tonia Barnes was while she worshiped at Macedonia Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi  or called the “n-word” like six black friends who left a church’s New Year’s Eve Service to get something to eat at Shatila Lebanese Grill and Hookahat in Arlington, Texas were, your New Year may not be off to best start…Thankfully, Barnes has been released from the hospital and the waiter who referred to the friends as the “n-word” has been fired…Prayerfully, in spite of what happened on these people on New Year’s Eve, God will bring good even out of that…

As for my church’s New Year’s Eve Service otherwise known as Watch Night Service, all went well although I am struggling with what the pastor preached during the service…The pastor spoke on…

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6

If you know anything about me, one of my worst faults I have to admit is coveting…I’m a habitual coveter…In fact, one of my earliest posts “I’m Such a Hater aka I Sometimes Break the Ten Commandments”   (I began coveting as a scrawny six year old…) is about this very word…I remember when my book was released in 2012 and I was working like crazy and God was blessing me with all kinds of opportunities, sometimes I still got discouraged because other authors seemed to moving be farther faster…In fact, I even called an author friend, and she told me that days earlier she had had a dream about someone running a race and the runner got off track because the runner kept looking at the other runners…She told her husband she wasn’t sure why she had that dream, but when I called her, she knew that dream was a message for me…Isn’t God awesome?! He knows this child of God (me 🙂 ) has got it bad when it comes to coveting…

So the next day, I reflected on and prayed about what these two verses mean, and I was led to this sermon “The Path that Leads to Contentment.” Marvin A. McMickle noted…

Covetousness and contentment. If ever there were two words placed within the same verse that seem to point in totally opposite directions, it is those words found in Hebrews 13:5. One word seems to imply a persistent and relentless pursuit for something more than one already has. Covetousness is a condition in which a person’s heart, mind and soul are preoccupied with getting and gaining more and more of the things of this world. At an even deeper level, to be covetous is to be so concerned with what someone has of possessions or abilities that we cannot be satisfied with whatever it is that we have.

Pointing in the opposite direction from covetousness is the word contentment. I do not know if you and I will ever reach this state in life, but the writer of Hebrews seems to suggest that it is an ideal state in which to live. To be content is to be satisfied with what you have. To be content is to be at peace with who you are. To be content is not to spend all day complaining about what is wrong in your life. To be content is not to mope around in self-pity because of what you have not achieved, or what you have not acquired, or what you have not attained.

To read the rest of the sermon, go to preaching.com.

So how do we go about making the best of our talents and being ambitious while being content at the same time?…How do we determine how are efforts are panning out if we’re not checking out the  competition which often leads me to coveting? I’ve got more reflecting and praying to do….

Any thoughts?

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5 thoughts on “Two Signs Your New Year May Not Be Off to the Best Start…

  1. Two very brief responses:

    – Watched an OWN Lifeclass series with Robin Roberts and she said her motto is to always be grateful but NEVER content. I like that.
    – I have learned that many things, including social media, lead to me being less thankful for my own path and ultra busy looking at the lives of others. These days I work “earnestly” to stay in my own lane, acknowledge that most times my results mirror my effort and remain thankful for all that I DON’T have (we often see what others have that we may want, but we don’t always want their struggles or their journey).

    • Yes, social media is great for comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides…You never know someone’s true journey…

  2. And sometimes, I realize that I am not willing to work as hard as some people do…i.e…make the sacrifices they make…