Helping Others

Yesterday, we covered the respect topic. Some of the suggestions I gave to learn how to be respectful were to do things for others. Some of today’s teenager think mostly about doing things that please themselves. For example, they would rather play video games than do chores. They would rather be with their friends hanging out at the mall than going to spend time with grandparents. They would rather listen to their iPod than to help out in the soup kitchen to feed the poor. This is what God calls fulfilling the lust of the flesh… doing things that please you rather than someone else.

The most well adjusted teenagers I have ever met are those who are busy helping others. They have mastered this art at a young age. They love doing things for other people rather than concentrating on themselves. Their faith has been made stronger because they do the works of their faith.

~James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James is not saying that you have to work for your salvation here. He is saying that once you are saved, you should be doing things that please God, not yourself. James is also saying that faith alone (without doing things for others) is like being dead – it produces nothing.

Doing nice things for others shows God’s love through you. Stop and think of this mental picture: You are Jesus “with skin on”! You may be the only Jesus some people ever see! So what you do for others will lead them to Christ. Maybe not today, but some time in the future, they will remember what you did and will desire to have what you have: a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

~Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

When we do things for others, we are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Bible:

~James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

What does “love thy neighbour” have to do with “doing for others”? Would you be stealing from yourself? Would you be lying to yourself? Of course not! So if you treat others as you would treat yourself, then the Word says you are fulfilling the royal law 🙂

The more you help others and do things for other people, the less you have time to want things of this world. Your desires will change. You will find that those things are not quite as important as meeting someone’s needs. A person who is starving is much more important than the latest video game. You begin to see life through this kind of thinking. You will find that it is far more rewarding to help others than to satisfy yourself. Remember the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive”? That’s not just an old saying but it is scriptural:

~Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Pleasing the Lord Jesus should be our number one priority in life. If we are pleasing Him, there’s not much room left for pleasing ourselves. So take a moment and think about things that you could do for others and write them down. If you are blessed to have saved parents that you can share with, talk to them about your list – they may be able to add to it. 🙂 They will also know of desire to help and will help you with your goals.

Your church probably has programs that will help you in this area. Many have soup kitchens (I spoke of them earlier) where they feed the poor in the neighborhood. Some may have a missionaries’ closet that they keep stocked with items to give to missionaries when they visit. Maybe you could help straighten it out and keep track of what is there and what is needed. Some churches have a retirement home ministry where they visit senior citizens who do not have family and are lonely. Mostly all seniors love young people and they absolutely love to tell them about the “old days”! You could be a blessing to some dear old saint who is missing her family! God smiles on these actions and loves it when His children are showing compassion to each other.

Life is not all about the latest fashions or latest trends. That is not God’s will for us. Yes He wants us to have clothes and those things that we need. But more importantly, His will is that we help others because we love Him. The way you treat and help others directly reflects on your love and gratefulness to God for what He has done for you. If you are not grateful for your salvation through Christ’s death on the cross and the fact that He paid the penalty for your sins, then you are not going to want to help others because you are self-centered. Yes, you may find these to be harsh words but sometimes it takes straight talk to wake up certain people.

Be honest with yourself – evaluate your heart based on God’s Word. Are you one of these teens that only thinks about herself? You won’t get any lasting joy from only doing or yourself. However, you will get eternal blessing for helping others. Ask forgiveness if you have been self absorbed and ask the Lord to show you ways you can help others. 🙂 You will be glad you did!


~Philippians 2:3-4 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Teens raised by parents who have not taught them respect for others suffer a bum rap. Most people blame the teen but how can they know how to act if they have never been taught from God’s Word?? Unsaved teens have it especially hard in this area. 😦 Showing respect is shown in many ways: how you treat others, how you talk to people, and how you treat other people’s belongings. If you are a saved teen and have parents who have not taught you how to be respectful to others (and to respect their belongings), I pray that you will be blessed by today’s devotional. If you do have parents who have taught you, then this will confirm their teaching 🙂

To respect means:

To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth.

When you can respect someone with Godly respect, you are honoring or reverencing them because of who they are, what their position is in life, and also because that is what God’s Word commands. For example, respecting those who are poor. Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings. It doesn’t mean that they are poor because they want to be poor. I was raised poor and I was made fun of a lot! The kids at school made fun of my clothes, they made fun of the “side of town” I lived in, they made fun of my body, etc. That is not respectful – it is hurtful – and most of all, it is ungodly! To be able to respect others, one must learn humility (to be humble).

In case you don’t already know the definition of humility, it means:

In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth. In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.

When you learn to be humble, you learn to look at yourself with different eyes. Rather than think of how great you are or all the things that you have or what you deserve in life, you realize that who you are and what you have are a gift from God. Your parents are a gift from God. No matter what you think about your parents, God wants you to respect them – respect their “office” as parents. You may have unsaved parents but that does not excuse you from respecting them. In fact, if you respect and honor them, it will be a testimony to them of your God and your faith. God blesses the one who honors, respects and loves their parents according to His Word. God has given a promise to you:

~Ephesians 6:2-3 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

What is that promise? The answer is in verse 3 🙂 If you are a true born-again teen who absolutely hates her parents, you are not obeying God! When you allow God to change you and work in your heart to learn to respect your parents, your attitude toward them will change. Take your eyes off yourself teenager! This is an important step in becoming an adult. If you want people to treat you with respect, then you must FIRST treat them with respect.

The home is the first place where children learn to respect others. If they learn to respect their parents, then they will already know how to respect older people, police officers, teachers, etc. If you are a teen whose parents have never taught these things to you, now is the time to start. This is a testimony of your faith in Christ and will bring blessings to you in the long run. It will also show your parents what Jesus can and will do in your life.

A girl who thinks “she’s all that” is a girl who will create a lot of drama in her life because of it. However, a girl who thinks of others first and places them ahead of her own needs in life is showing respect and honor.

~1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Notice this verse says that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Wow! The teenager who thinks more of herself will be resisted by God. Think about this for a minute! When God resists her, it means He stands against her – He opposes her. What good can possibly come from that?  Rather than take her eyes off herself and respect/honor others, she dwells on her feelings and what’s in it for her. She always thinks life is unfair. This is not God’s way and it will result in heartache and turmoil in your life.

Peter says to be clothed in humility. What are some examples of humility? When you come to a door along with others, open the door and let them go first and you go in last. When you see an old person struggling with a tray of food at McDonald’s, offer to take the tray to their table. When you see someone trip and fall, stop to ask if there’s anything you can do. When your church opens their kitchen to provide a meal for the poor, offer to help in the kitchen, or serving, or cleaning up. When you see a bully at school picking on someone, step in and do the right thing. When you see a girl at school who has no friends or is made fun of by your friends, leave them and go talk to her – be a friend to her. When there’s a banquet at your church, offer to get a senior saint’s food for them.

This is respect. It shows that you are viewing other people with the eyes of God 🙂 If you are guilty of being disrespectful, confess it to God and ask Him to help you learn! Then look around you. Watch your parents and see how you can work on respecting them and honoring them. Doing the laundry for your Mom so she can sit and read a book is a great way to honor her. Getting your Dad a cold soda when he comes home shows a humble spirit. Teaching your younger brothers and sisters by your actions will be a blessing to your parents. 🙂

When a girl is humble, she thinks of others rather than herself. She shares with her brothers and sisters – she puts others’ needs before her own. As a result, she respect others – she doesn’t place anyone “above” another; in other words, she treats everyone equal. 🙂

Teens Need God’s Word

How much time do you devote to reading your Bible, teenager? Do you find it difficult to make time? If you got an invitation from a friend to go to Disney World, you would probably do anything it takes to be able to go, right? You’d get your chores done, you’d even do extra chores just so your parents would let you go. 🙂 But do you feel the same way about reading your Bible?

Teenagers are not the only ones that struggle with this problem – all Christians do. But the sign of maturity lies with what the person does with this problem. The amount of time you dedicate to reading God’s Word is the very foundation of your Christian walk, teenager! It’s as important as eating! If you skipped a meal or two, you would be starving to death, wouldn’t you? It’s the same with the spiritual part of your body when you are a true born-again Christian. If you don’t read God’s Word faithfully, your spiritual life will starve. You will always have difficulties with your parents, your siblings, your friends, school, and life in general. Without God’s Word in your heart, you won’t know how to deal with these difficulties!

~Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Reading the Bible will keep you from sin!

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Reading the Bible builds you up – it builds your faith.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Reading the Bible instructs you and teaches you what God expects from you. Proverbs has 25 verses that talk about instruction and its importance. There’s a reason why there are so many verses, actually. Some people don’t want to be taught. They don’t want to know what God’s Word says because that means they will have to obey His Word. But disobedience brings heartache and drama in a person’s life. Continuous disobedience stems from childhood. A young lady who has not been disciplined and taught properly will continue to disobey when she is older. As a result, she will have so much drama in her life, she will be miserable!

It is foolish not to want God’s blessings! In fact, Proverbs calls these people fools! I realize these are a lot of verses to read but they are needful for someone who struggles with reading her Bible.

~Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

~Proverbs 1:8-9 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

~Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

~Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let [her] not go: keep her; for she [is] thy life.

~Proverbs 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

~Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life:

~Proverbs 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

~Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

~Proverbs 9:9 Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

~Proverbs 10:17 He [is in] the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

~Proverbs 12:1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof [is] brutish.

~Proverbs 13:1 A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

~Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

~Proverbs 15:5A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

~Proverbs 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

~Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.

~Proverbs 16:22 Understanding [is] a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools [is] folly.

~Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

The devil does NOT want you to read it because he knows that you will become more Christ-like if you do. That’s the last thing that he wants. He’ll provide distractions so that you won’t have time to read your Bible. The devil will put friends in your life that will want you to go here and there with you. Or he will put something on TV that you will want to watch more than read your Bible.  The devil is not stupid! He’s very clever and knows your weaknesses better than you do. He will do anything to keep you from reading your Bible because he knows that this is where the power of God lies. The devil wants you to stay away from your Bible so that you will continue in sin. God’s Word teaches us, convicts us of sin, and shows us how to live Godly lives:

~Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Teenager, if you are having troubles and you feel as though your life is coming apart, check your life and your priorities. Setting spiritual priorities is the key to becoming a mature adult. I don’t know one teenager yet that doesn’t want to be treated like an adult and I’m sure you feel the same way 🙂 So if you do not have a specific time set aside to read your Bible, start today! 🙂 Make a commitment to yourself … share that commitment with your parents … share it with your best friend 🙂 Challenge your best friend to read as well and set goals for the two of you. Those who love you will desire this right along with you 🙂

The best reading plan I’ve ever found was here: Best Reading Plan EVER! As you read, you will discover answers to your everyday problems. God’s Word plants seeds in your heart and as you go through life’s difficulties, you will stop to think about a particular verse that you read which applies to that very difficulty. The Word will encourage you when you’re down and will keep you from sin! 🙂

Mean words

~Proverbs 13:3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

It’s so easy to open your mouth and spill out an insult, isn’t it? It takes a LOT of will power to keep the mouth closed! It takes training! Today’s verse is all about “keeping the mouth.” Just as you keep an eye on your younger sister, you have to keep an eye on your mouth – keep an eye on your heart.

Notice the first part of today’s verse? If you keep your mouth, you keep your life. What could that possibly mean? It can’t possibly mean that if you speak out an insult that you will die. So it has to mean something different. It is talking about the “quality” of life that results when someone keeps a guard over the things that they say.

~Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

~Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked [are] an abomination to the LORD: but [the words] of the pure [are] pleasant words.

The words that come out of your mouth reflect the kind of Christian you are. If you speak kind words, it shows that you are yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to work in your heart through God’s Word. When you are kind, those around you will respond in the same way. Even when they don’t, you will feel better about yourself because you are obeying God’s Word.

However, if you have the tendency to insult your siblings, call them names, or say mean things to your parents, something is wrong with your heart. I’m not saying this to be hurtful – this isn’t my personal opinion but it is what Jesus said:

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

Jesus is telling us that our heart is defiled when we speak mean words – that goes for cursing as well. The definition of defile is:

Made dirty, or foul; polluted; soiled; corrupted; violated;

If your heart is dirty and polluted, you will say things that are dirty and polluted. But when you are reading God’s Word and trying to apply what you learn to your life, you are making your heart clean. I love this next verse because it is the one verse that shows us how to keep ourselves from sinning:

~Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word.

Read that verse to yourself and insert your name in the verse … let’s say your name is Shelley:

Wherewithal shall Shelley cleanse her way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word.

If you “take heed” (obey and apply to your life) to God’s Word, you will be cleaning that defiled heart of yours 🙂

What if the shoe is on the other foot? Do you like to be called names? If you were honest with yourself, you would say “no.” Do you like being made fun of? Be honest. No one does! It hurts feelings and makes you have a bad day, doesn’t it? Why, then, would you be so quick to open your mouth and hurt someone? Even if it is your younger sister, she’s a “someone.” Maybe you don’t do it on purpose – maybe you have a quick temper. That, too, is having a heart that is defiled, as Jesus put it.

If you are a true born-again Christian, you will be “pierced” in the heart with conviction by the Holy Spirit when you  realize this sin in your life. If this is you, teenager, then ask for forgiveness from the one you said mean things to. Go to your Heavenly Father and admit your sin to Him. Then ask Him to help you yield to His Holy Spirit so you can train yourself to speak good words only.

I’m ashamed to say that there are Christian adults who have not learned this yet! 😦 So you are not alone! But just because some adults have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that you have to follow their path. In fact, you can “shine” when you are in their presence and teach them a thing or two on what you have learned from the Lord 🙂 We should never base our own spiritual walk on someone else’s, right?

Kind words go so much further than unkind words. I like being around someone who is sweet and never says an unkind thing about anyone. I want to be that kind of person to others, don’t you?

Choosing Friends Wisely

~Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

It’s so hard to find a friend who loves you for who you are. There are so many out there that want to be friends only because you have something to offer them. This is sad but very true today! It’s not WHO you are to them but WHAT you have that makes them like you. So how does one go about choose friends wisely?

The best place to look is in the Bible! The Book of Proverbs has so much to say about friends, both good and bad. The very first place one needs to look is the first part of Proverbs 18:24:

~Proverbs 18:24a A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly:..

To be able to find a friend, you must first be friendly to people.  Maybe you are the shy type and it’s difficult for you to make friends. If that’s the case, you will be lonely a long time 😦 One thing you can count on, however, is that you are not the only shy person on the face of this earth 🙂 There are other shy teen girls everywhere so you need to find one. Pray that the Lord would send you a friend that you can encourage and be a good friend to. Finding a friend doesn’t just involve being friendly but it involves you being good to your friend – loving her, doing nice things for her, sharing your thoughts and dreams with her, etc. It’s not all about what she will do for YOU! But it’s all about what you can do for her.

Start your search in your church. 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? You do not want to become best friends with someone who isn’t saved. If you do, this friend will lead you to the paths of sin. Find a friend who loves the Lord like you do. It will make your life so much easier because she won’t be leading you to doing wrong with her.

The world sees friendship with selfish and covetous eyes. True friendships are rare because they have motives behind their friendship. They are your friend because you have the latest clothes; they like you because you have the latest games; you’re their friend because you have money:

~Proverbs 19:4, 6 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.  6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.

Solomon was wise, wasn’t he? He was the richest King that ever lived and I’m sure that these two Proverbs were written out of experience. Everyone who has money finds that he has a lot of “friends.” But it’s really not true friendship at all. This is definitely not the type of friendship you want. Why? Because when you run out of money or your games break down, these friends will find someone else and leave you behind. 😦

So, once you have found a friend, work on that friendship by being a good Christian friend to her. Encourage her in God’s Word and be ready to listen when she needs someone to talk to. Whatever you desire in a friend should be how you treat that friend. Go the extra mile for your friend and be there for her when she is in need of a shoulder to cry on. Stand by her through trials and hard times as well as through the good times 🙂

~Proverbs 27:6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.

Sometimes teens listen to their friends before they listen to what their parents have to say. So be certain that your friend will lead you to the Scriptures when you ask her advice on something. It’s easy to get into trouble when you follow your heart or your friend’s heart! But when a friend encourages you through God’s Word, you will never go wrong 🙂

~Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

The Bible warns us about making friends with people who have tempers and are angry. This isn’t talking about an occasional outburst here. This is talking about someone who is never satisfied; someone who is always talking badly about her parents or is always arguing with them. This type of girl will lead you to do the same thing. There are so many girls out there who are looking for a genuine friendship and who obey and love their parents.

~Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:

Finding just the right friend might take some time but it will be well worth it in the end. My mother was best friends with a lady that lived down the street. Her daughter was three years younger than me but we were best friends as well. We have been best friends ever since! Our friendship has never died but has been faithful for over 50 years! In fact, she is the one that led me to the Lord! 🙂 \o/ That is true friendship! She has stuck by me through my trials and shared them with me through prayer. When I was going down the wrong path, she led me to the Bible and showed me that I was sinning. She encouraged me when I was down and rejoiced with me when I was celebrating. That is a true friend. There are never any strings attached to her love for me!

Friendship will help you to see the type of friend that Jesus Christ is. The Bible says:

~Proverbs 18:24 A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

 How can someone be a friend that is closer than your brother or sister? Someone who will do anything for you, even to the point of suffering a cruel death, is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Wow! Now there is a picture of true friendship 🙂

Why is this happening to me?

~Psalm 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Whenever something goes wrong in life, do you ever wonder: “Why is this happening to me!” Believe me when I say that you are not alone. This happens to adults as well, I’m afraid 😦

Sometimes things happen to us because of sin. For example: Let’s say you tell your parents a lie about where you are going and they find out and punish you. Do you wonder why this is happening to you? You must realize that you are being punished for lying. But sometimes, bad things happen to good people. That’s what I’m talking about today.

Christian teenagers have the most awesome opportunities to witness to other Christian teenagers. Why? Because most unsaved teenagers feel that adults don’t understand them so they will talk to another teen. This is when you can help them the most. If you are going through a major trial but yet you still have a positive attitude, that will speak volumes to your unsaved friends. They will want to know why and you’ll be able to tell them it is because of Jesus in your life. This is one of the reasons why God allows trials to come our way. We learn to depend on Him instead of our friends or family.

Jesus wants us to find peace through Him when we are going through difficult times. He wants to use us as a witness of His power in our lives.

~Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Are you going through difficulties right now? Take time to feed your spirit by reading the Bible – especially Psalms. David went through a lot of trials and recorded many of them in Psalms. Some of his trials were due to his own sin (he had Uriah killed and he also sinned with Bathsheba) but many were so we could be encouraged today by reading Psalms 🙂 After reading, pray and talk to the Lord and tell Him how you are feeling. Ask Him to show you how you should act in this situation. Many times He reveals His will for us through the reading of His Word. His grace is always present when we need Him the most!

My Must Haves

~Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.

Coveting is not a word that is common today.  It is better known as the “I’ve just gotta have” disease. The latest technology – the latest clothing – the latest sneakers – the latest everything is on top of every teenager’s list. If you don’t get it right now, it’s practically the end of the world!

Let’s look at what God thinks of this type of desire in your life. You will have to be honest with yourself to get anything out of today’s topic. Put aside what you think are your “rights” and dig into the Word of God to see what HE thinks. Coveting is really strong desire to have something that someone else has and that you want. Coveting also goes to the point of doing whatever you can to get what you want, even if it involves doing something wrong to get it. Someone who covets is never content or satisfied with what they have – they always want what they don’t have. This isn’t just a teenager’s problem – it is a “people” problem. We are in the “gotta have it NOW” generation and it affects everyone. But it isn’t what God wants for us.

Two things come from always getting what you want: (1) debt (2) and wanting more. The Tenth Commandment, today’s Bible verse, condemns the practice of coveting – it condemns the DESIRE to have something you don’t have or have enough of… coveting always wants MORE. This is what the Tenth Commandment condemns. It’s like looking at today’s picture. Coveting is wanting the whole “globe” instead of waiting and getting it piece by piece. Young married couples want the new house, furniture, cars, boats, etc. right after they get married. They get themselves into tremendous debt at the beginning of their marriage. This sets them up for some major arguments, struggles and long-term debt. This is all due to a lack of maturity – they are not content to wait until they can afford to buy certain items… they have to have those items NOW.

Coveting is also a very selfish desire and when it reaches this point, a person is willing to get what he/she wants at the expense of others. This is especially true in relationships. A good example of this is when a girl will do whatever she can to get a guy, even at the expense of losing her best friend. This is extremely self-centered and is not Christ-like at all.

~Philippians 4:10-13 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The Apostle Paul new what it was to be content. Being content is the end result of maturity. Just because someone is an adult doesn’t mean they are mature. There are many adults who covet and are never satisfied with what God has blessed them with. They always want more. Being a spiritually mature teenager demands spending time in the Bible and applying what God teaches to one’s life. God wants us to be grateful for what we have which, in turn, makes us content. 🙂

God may want you to have clothing but He doesn’t necessarily want you to have $100 shoes. It’s unfair for you to ask your parents to buy you such costly things. However, some things are costly and are needed – like uniforms for sports, etc. Rather than desiring the latest trends, be satisfied with what your parents can buy you at Wal-Mart. If you absolutely have to have an expensive item, you should be willing to work for it.

Think about those things which you think you must have. Pray about it and talk to your parents about it. Ask their opinion. If they say no, then be content with what you have. Throwing a temper tantrum because you can’t get what you want is not being mature at all. It only enforces that you do not know how to be content. The answer is to train yourself to be content (satisfied) with what you have.

~Proverbs 23:4-8 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for [riches] certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. 6 Eat thou not the bread of [him that hath] an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart [is] not with thee. 8 The morsel [which] thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.