When Coveting Is Not A Sin




"When Coveting is Not a Sin"




The other day a friend and I were waiting for our turn to use the lap lanes at a local pool and got to talking about "church things."' I saw this as an opportunity to invite her to church, so I asked the basic question to open up the conversation which was what church did she attend.  She told me and then said, "I just love my church." She went on to explain that they took care of her when she was down with some lengthy medical issues, which I am sure were most helpful as she takes care of a husband with Alzheimer.  She went on to tell me how much she loves the bible studies on Tuesday nights, even making sure she can go to them no matter how many times they changed her work schedule. I thought surely, she is a new Christian and on that "Christian High," but that was not the case.




I have to admit I was a little jealous of her comment, because if someone had asked me what church I went to I would reply, "Church of Christ on Larry Power Rd, between Rt 45 and Rt 50 by the I57 overpass."  Some I told may have even replied, "Oh, the one that has all the neat messages on its sign.' It's not that I don't deeply care for my church family, but I have never followed telling people where I go with, "I just love my church."




For so long I thought I was loving my church by organizing programs that would help in making us grow closer. But I realized that day and recalling our studies of "Lifelong Zeal" by Philip Shumake if I couldn't say "I just love my church," my zeal in all these programs may not have been the right kind.




Another self-evaluation was in order, which always bites.  I realized I was part of the "They should/we should" mine frame. "We should do this." "We need to do this." "They should do this." "Why don't they do this?" "We need to do better on our teaching." "We need to do better on our singing." "We need to do better on our outreach." I would have fit right in with those sitting at the market gate in the Athens sitting around in their white togas, stroking their chins, nodding in agreement, or asking deep questions babbling on about the needs of the world.  The only difference is my toga would be in a different color than white. I would be styling.




I was more focused on what I thought the church wasn't doing that I lost sight of what the church was doing.   Not that we should be content in where we are least we forsake of our first love, like the church in Ephesus. The they/we thinking needed to be changed to "I" commitment.  I know I need to open my heart more open to see that there are a lot of good people who have goals to help the church to grow in love, knowledge and number.  I know I need to open my heart more to see that I should not become frustrated when "they/we" aren't moving as fast or the way I thought "they/we" should move.  I know I need to focus on what I, along with God's guidance and the advice from the steering committee at church, can do for the church to help in these goals. I know I need to focus on serving God by not giving into pride, which is hard to swallow, even with my dark chocolate.




I know satan will be there putting up walls. I know when things get hard I can run away from them, I can go around them, or I can climb over them. I know all these ways are MY choice, not "they/we." But whatever happens I know I want the journey so I too can say, "I just love my church," for this love I want to covet.




"Do all things without complaining and arguing." Philippians 2:14




"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Ephesians 4:29




© Melinda Sutherland 3/3/16
















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