You hear through the grapevine about some old friends. They are living large—buying homes and cars, traveling, partying, eating and drinking the finest delicacies. You look at your surroundings, living a day that looks really similar to yesterday and probably not much different than tomorrow. You can’t suppress a sigh. There’s no getting around it… You covet your friends’ financial freedom and adventurous lives. To top it off, you feel guilty because you were judging them for being so reckless and wild. The Law pulls up behind you, lights flashing, sirens blaring, and tries to give both you and your friends a ticket, including hefty fines of contempt and self-loathing. But then you remember as a believer, you’re operating under Grace. Jesus tore that ticket up. Wa-hoo!
You may still have momentary envious or judgmental thoughts. But instead of staying there, you bring the situation to Jesus. He shows you how blessed you really are, how many lives you touch each day, how fleeting the things of this world are, how loved you are. He might also ask you to help your friends—instead of being judgmental, to simply love and pray for them, or maybe gently encourage them somehow. You call them and find out they’re on the brink of divorce and have a host of other problems. Turns out, they want what you have.
Each temptation or ill thought that comes your way is an opportunity to put this into practice. Instead of feeling condemnation for not having enough will power, consider talking to Jesus about what’s really going on and ask Him to show you how grace and love can turn things around.