We have all heard someone say, “The grass is always greener on the other side!” But is it true? Let’s take a look at what is meant by this maxim, and decide whether or not it is true.
First, when someone says these words, what they mean is that the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence because it is someone else’s grass! Our sinful, self-absorbed nature is fond of looking at what we don’t have and thinking it is better than what we do have. This problem goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. They had everything in the Garden of Eden except one tree, and that one tree seemed greener to them than everything else they had.
And we are just like our first two parents.
- The job I don’t have is greener than the job I do have
- The body I don’t have is greener than the body I do have
- The education I don’t have is greener than the education I do have
- The talent I don’t have is greener than the talent I do have
- The opportunity I don’t have is greener than the opportunity I do have
- The car I don’t have is greener than the car I do have
- The home I don’t have is greener than the home I do have
- The marriage I don’t have is greener than the marriage I do have
- The social network I don’t have is greener than the social circle I do have
- The ministry I don’t have is greener than the ministry I do have
The Bible makes it clear that we are not to spend our time fixated on the things we don’t have and thinking them to be better than what we do have.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; 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 belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17)
You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them (graven images), nor take it for yourselves, lets you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 7:25)
Do not be deceived; neither fornicators . . . not the covetous . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
What do you have that you have not been given? Everything you have is a gift from God and every gift you have been graciously given—you could say undeservedly so—and should be received with gratitude, appreciation, and contentment. The Westminster Shorter Catechism explains, “The tenth commandment requires us to be completely satisfied with our own status in life.” The letter to the Hebrews instructs, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
So . . . is the grass always greener on the other side in the world you currently live in? Only the Gospel empowers us to see the truth about where the grass is greener. And do you know where that is? It is always where you water it . . . fertilize it . . . nurture it . . . and care for it.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!