Confession. I sometimes observe a sister or brother in the Lord, and I covet. I look at them walking with such grace and strength in their giftings; and I compare what I see next to my often awkward stance. One in which I feel somewhat like my two year old wearing his sister's Snow White dress-up shoes--clumsy and out-of-place. And I whine.
How God knows the heart of mankind. He knows that in our natural selves we will look at the manicured grass on the other side of the freshly painted fence, and we will covet. Our yard seems dead and patchy, and our fence needs a new coat. Little do we know that the other is gazing over our fence as well. Then we whine, wondering if He has forgotten. But He hasn't.
Yesterday while driving with my three kids in the back, there was a continual wave of discontent from their little lips, and I realized something. The only time they whine or complain is when they don't get what they want. (Brilliant, I know.) Otherwise--not a trace of unsettled hearts. And it dawned on me: they are all-natural, completely organic in the flesh. Their flesh has not yet been redeemed. And in the natural we whine when things don't go according to our perfectly thought-out plan. We covet when others have what we think is best for us.
But our God wrote "You shall not covet" on the stone tablets because He knows the heart of man. And then He sent His Son so that we might be made alive--freed.
When we set our eyes on this world--on those walking shoulder to shoulder with us--we will miss the fullness of the Lord for our lives. We pollute His character with our discontent, redefining Him in our minds to be something He is not.
Paul addressed the issue of spiritual gifts in his first letter to the church at Corinth. And his ultimate point exposed the foundational error--not being led by love. (see 1 Corinthians 12, 13)
The reason God gifts His church is so that we may edify one another--build one another up in the faith. If ever our eyes drop from the law of love, then covetousness takes up residence in our minds. And this is not the heart of God!
We must bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ--only by the power of His Spirit. Every thought captive to love. If you find yourself internally coveting the giftings of others, then bring that to His throne of healing and grace. Confess those ponderings as dishonorable. And begin praying that God would further anoint that other person so that the Body of our Lord might be encouraged and strengthened. Then pursue love--pursue the face of God. He has a plan specific for you, and specific for me.
Now dance the dance of trust.