How many times have you finally picked your ice cream flavour only to look with envy at your friend’s choice as you walk down the street! The offer of a taste only confirms your suspicion you’ve made the wrong decision!
Envy is a destructive temptation not just limited to ice creams, but is something reaching into every area of life. Whenever we make a decision to go down one path it automatically means we’ve decided not to go down the other. As we travel down our own road we can compare our choice with the direction others have taken and wonder whether our own road will bring us the fulfilment it promised.
In biblical times they may not have had ice cream envy, but they most definitely battled with land envy! But God encourages us to work the land we’ve been given:
‘Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense’ – Proverbs 12:11 (ESV)
Many of these land owners inherited land that was passed down through the generations. Although they could buy land as they grew increasingly successful, they each began with the land they inherited.
They first key in living a fruitful and productive life was to accept the land they had been given. In the same way, we all begin life with different personalities and abilities, and we don’t choose our own family or where we have been born. They first key to fruitfulness is to accept the land you’ve been given.
The second key is to work your own land. Don’t try and copy what others are doing because it just won’t work. The soil in your land will only grow a certain type of crop, so it’s no use trying to grow the same thing as your neighbour.
The third key is focus. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by all the ‘good things’ that lure you away from your main focus. It doesn’t mean you don’t do things that refresh you for longevity, but it does mean you need to learn to say no.
Don’t waste your time with ‘worthless’ or ’empty’ pursuits, or things that will give you temporary pleasure but don’t add any value to the long term fruitfulness of your land. In the end you will have ‘plenty of bread’ for yourself and those God has placed around you!