You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. Exodus 20:17b ESV
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. I John 4:19-21 ESV
Tom’s parents were strict. They didn’t allow him to watch movies or TV that they didn’t approve of, and he had to ask for permission before he went to a friend’s house. Bill’s parents were less strict. Bill didn’t have to ask permission before coming to Tom’s house. Tom wished his parents were more like Bill’s parents. Sometimes he even wished he could have Bill’s parents. He thought he’d be happier with parents who were less strict.
God is the one who puts people into our lives, but often we wish we could have different people. Children wish they could have different parents, or a different teacher, or different friends, or different brothers and sisters. Grownups sometimes even wish they could have a different husband or wife. They might look at a friend’s husband or wife and wish to have that person instead.
If a person in our life is really hurting us, of course it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes sin causes parents, teachers, or others to do things that children shouldn’t have to deal with. But most of the time, God wants us to be satisfied with the people he gives us. The people in our lives are God’s gift to us, and God gives them to us so that we can love and help them and they can love and help us. If we are always looking at the people God’s given to other people and feeling dissatisfied and unhappy, we will miss the things God wants us to do to serve the people we belong with. We will miss out on the love God intends us to share together.
When God saw the trouble sin had caused us, he came to us in Jesus to love and help us. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be God’s children forever. God loves us through Jesus, and he wants to love other people through us. God the Holy Spirit helps us see the people in our lives as God’s wonderful gifts to us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the people you’ve put into our lives. Please help us to love and serve them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.