A member of our church gave me a jar of homemade peach preserves a couple of weeks ago. Few delicacies in life compare with her peach preserves. Should I someday face a firing squad, I’ll pass on the cigarette but be the first to perk up if Sarah’s peach preserves are offered. Each spoonful is a celestial experience. The only problem with her gift was that it didn’t last. I’m sad to report that the bottom of my jar is in sight. I’ll soon be shaking out the last drop like a lost cowboy shakes his canteen.
To be quite honest, I’m dreading the moment. Its proximity has affected my behavior. Anyone who requests a taste of my peach preserves is met with a Clint Eastwood snarl, “Don’t even think about it”
If I were Sarah’s husband, Keith, I wouldn’t have such a problem. He gets all the peach preserves he wants. Does the clinking of the spoon at the bottom of the jar trigger tears for Keith? Hardly, he has an unlimited supply. One might even say that he has more than he deserves. And one might wonder why he has so much and I have so little. Why should he have a pantryful and I just a jarful? Who gave him the key to the jam-and-jelly castle? Who made him the master of marmalades? Who crowned Keith the king of confitures? It’s not fair. It’s not right. In fact, the more I think about it…
Which is exactly what I shouldn’t do. I shouldn’t think about it. For resting at the end of this trail of thought is the deadly briefcase of envy If you haven’t seen one in real life, you’ve seen one in the spy movies. The assassin carne it up the back stairs into the vacated room at the top of the building. When he is sure no one can see him, he opens the case. The disassembled rifle sits in cushioned slots. The scope, the barrel, the stock-all await the hand of the marksman. The marksman awaits the arrival of his victim.
Who is his victim? Anyone who has more than he has. More karats, more horsepower, more office space, more church members. Jealousy sets her cross hairs on the one who has more. “You want something you don’t have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill!” (James 4:2 CEV).
Honestly, Max, I would never do that. I would never kill.
With a rifle, maybe not. But with your tongue? With your glare? Your gossip? “Jealousy,” informs Proverbs 6:34, “enrages a man” (NASB). Are your sights set on someone? If so, be careful; “jealousy will rot your bones” (Prov. 14:30).
Need a deterrent for envy? An antidote for jealousy? The psalm we are studying offers one. Rather than bemoan the peach preserves you don’t have, rejoice in the abundant cup you do. “My cup overflows with blessings” (Ps. 23:5 NLT).
Is an overflowing cup full? Absolutely. The wine reaches the rim and then tumbles over the edge. The goblet is not large enough to contain the quantity. According to David, our hearts are not large enough to contain the blessings that God wants to give. He pours and pours until they literally flow over the edge and down on the table…
The last thing we need to worry about is not having enough. Our cup overflows with blessings.
Traveling Light, Max Lucado, 2001, W Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.