Day to day, we go through life…influenced by the world around us…sometimes blindly. We can get so caught up in daily life and especially a material life that we fail to take a step back and reflect on where we are and what we are doing. I would say that many of us don’t stop and make sure that our speech and actions reflect following God and following His Word. We could become content with our lives and if we did take the time to reflect, we might find that there are some things need serious prayer and change.
Today, I want to look at what happened to a couple who let power, greed, and envy get in the way of their lives. 1 Kings 21:1-14.
Naboth has a vineyard…a parcel of land which he inherited…priceless to him
Ahab is a king…living next door…wants the vineyard for a vegetable garden…names a price for the land of Naboth…he really wants the vineyard…it works well for him
Naboth isn’t willing to compromise…sell…or trade…Ahab pouts because he can’t have what he wants
Jezebel (his wife) doesn’t see this as a problem since he is the king…so she takes care of it…she makes it happen…at Naboth’s expense.
Tough story for us to read…we quickly judge Ahab and Jezebel and think how horrible they are…we can really spend a lot of time picking them apart because they definitely had some issues. But, this message from the scriptures is important and I want to share with you what I see going on here that can help us…
They have the ME syndrome
The me syndrome is where everything starts, lives and ends with me…my wants, my needs, my desires, my passions, me…me…me… What I do, I do for me…I work for me…I live for me
The ME syndrome is easy to get…it is how our world works…it is what we are often taught in advertising and shows and in those we watch…
With the ME syndrome comes problems…and these problems often begin very subtly…without notice…we don’t even see them coming…and no one may not even tell us about it because they have the same thing…
Problem 1: Envy
When we have the ME syndrome, we see what others have and we want it. We see beautiful things all around us and we want them. All of a sudden, the things that we have aren’t good enough. The things that have been working just fine aren’t sufficient. We begin to notice what is around us and feel like we deserve those things as well. Why not? Does it matter if we have to cut what we give God to get it? Does it matter if we have to work a few more hours and cut our family time? Does it really matter that we will go in debt beyond our means?
We either begin to have a distaste for those around us who have better things or we work ourselves to death to get them…no matter the sacrifice. Envy is really easy given all of the messages we receive. We must guard against envy and wanting what others have…
Problem #2: Pride
When we have the ME syndrome, we begin to think a lot of ourselves. We begin to think more of ourselves that we should. We begin to realize that we do have power to make this happen…we can influence others…we are somebody. There is a healthy sense of self…and then there is pride that causes you to think about being self made…when in reality you are God made. We forget the Creator. We forget others. It is all about us and what we can do and accomplish.
Problem #3: Selfish
With the ME syndrome, we become selfish. We think of self first. We put self first. We will help our neighbors if it doesn’t interfere with self. We are willing to give as long as we take care of self. We are truly out for self and if there is time and resources left, we will give to others.
The reason all of these are problems is because God’s Word tells us to guard against all of these. We are constantly taught in the Word to put God first, then others. We are reminded that what we have all belongs to Him and we are just stewards of what He has given us. What are you choosing? Maybe we should take a step back today and make sure we are choosing the direction of the Lord rather than direction of self…do you have the ME syndrome?