Q. What does God require of you in this commandment?
A. That I do whatever I can for my neighbor’s good, that I treat others as I would like them to treat me, and that I work faithfully so that I may share with those in need (1).
Read: (1) Isa. 58:5-10; Matt. 7:12; Gal. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:28.
We are so entitled. We believe that we deserve everything we so desire. Alas, the influence of the American Dream worldwide. Work hard and you will get. Or better yet, the lie of “The Prosperity Gospel” that says that financial blessing and physical well being comes from positive speech and donations to religious causes. We deserve hell. We deserve nothing else. And forgetting how totally depraved we are, we forget to be grateful for even the air in our lungs is grace! So sister, let’s study what not stealing has to do with gratefulness and godly stewardship. Let’s study question 110 of The Heidelberg Catechism.
In our consumerist society we are not happy having something functional. We need the latest. There is an infinite desire for the best, the newest, coolest and therefore our markets have become filled with fast moving consumer goods, many of which are imperishable and unnecessary but which we desire and buy just to keep up with others. In this frenzy and bottomless pit of dissatisfaction, we forget to be grateful. Grateful that we have a pair of jeans that fits us and covers us. Grateful that we have a means of transportation, maybe a car that comfortably gets us places. Grateful to have a roof over our heads, regardless of how big it is. Grateful to have health that allows us to work and make some money for food. We are so caught up in the frenzy of keeping up with the Jones’s that gratefulness has been thrown out the window. And an ungrateful heart is a bad steward because it fails to recognize the bountiful provision of God’s mercy. And sister, we are called to remember that everything we have is grace.
A grateful heart recognizes God’s bountiful provision and being satisfied in Him, is able to steward his possessions not for herself but for God’s glory. A grateful heart loves her neighbor so well that is able to see needs and meet needs according to God’s provision. A grateful heart is eager to share God’s merciful provision so that there is human flourishing. And grateful heart recognizes that our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and in doing so is deeply joyful; ever so peaceful and above all, fully satisfied in God.
So sister, today I want to ask you; is your heart content and grateful? Or do you move onto the next new thing in an expectation to be finally fulfilled? Are you aware of God’s abundant grace in your life through provision of material goods and are sharing with others in search of God’s grace or are you holding tight to your possessions in fear of losing them all? And finally, sister, do you want to continue getting and not being satisfied or will you trust that God has provided so much more for you, for godly stewardship and for His name to be known throughout the world?