Words from the Heart for Monday July 22nd, 2019

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 (NLT)

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Meaningless Envy

The slice.ca website recently posted an article giving 20 reasons why Canada is the envy of the world. One of my favourites is our national branding. According to the article: “The maple leaf. Everyone knows it. CNN says that this is proof that Canada is tops in branding itself. Around the world, if you see a maple leaf on someone, you know they’re a Canadian.” And I love that the world is envious of the amount of bacon we produce. I had no idea that Canada produces five strips of bacon for every person on the planet. We’re the world’s third largest pork exporter, shipping 1.18 million kilos annually. Bring on the bacon.

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You thought the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses” started with the economic boon of the 1950s when people had the financial means to buy their own home and suburbs were booming? But wanting a bit more than your neighbours is not a 20th century invention. Millennia before, Solomon wrote this in Ecclesiastes 4:4, “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” What is at the heart of our motivation for success, Solomon had noticed, is envy of our neighbours. In the Ten Commandments it is called covetousness. Jesus often spoke about the futility of building up a financial portfolio for ourselves – we can’t take anything with us into eternity, after all. How much better is it to focus on things that have eternal value – trusting Christ, and sharing the Good News of the Gospel with others so that they too might have the assurance of eternal life.

These have been words from the heart.
Bob Beasley