Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life: Day 3: I Want What I Want

Welcome to Day 3 of 31 Days of Loving Life.

Today's topic is: I Want What I Want.

Will you think back on yesterdays' reflective questions?

During your times of discontentment...

What was it that I felt I was missing out on?

What was my initial reaction? Sadness? Anger? Bitterness? Resentment?

When I think back on this situation, do I feel any of those emotions now?
While these questions are fresh in your mind, let's read the story of Cain and Abel:

Genesis 4: 2-8:
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
I believe the proverbial straw that broke the camels' back was when God looked at Abel's offering favorably but not Cains. 

Cain's emotion was anger.  An anger so severe that he committed murder.  Not just any murder, but the murder of his own brother.

Being the older brother, I think Cain probably felt some sense of entitlement; that he should have the easier job. 

Clearly, Cain is hungering for something more.

Discontentment was the catalyst of Cain's sin.

As a coincidence, we were discussing this chapter last week in our small group study at church.  I love the way our pastor's wife described this hunger for something more.  "I want what I want."

It's true isn't it?  We want what we want.  Me. Me. Me. 

Can we be honest with ourselves? 

I mean really honest.

When we get what we want, how long are we actually satisfied?  As the saying goes, until the new wears off!  For me, that's usually not more than a few months, at the longest.

Why is that?  I believe the answer is found in 1 John 2:15-16:

 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

God didn't make us to be in some rat race chasing the next trend or to keep up with the Joneses.

As a pastor once said, the church is God's plan A.  That's you and me.

God wants to prosper us.  He wants us to be happy, peaceful, loving.  God isn't against us having stuff. God is against us placing more value on our stuff than on Him and His people.

Reflection for today: How do you define happiness?  When you think of the perfect life, what does it look like?

We are just getting going on this journey.  I hope you will continue to stick with me.  We are laying the foundation for loving life!

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