1 Samuel 8:5b,
"...Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."
Have you ever looked at what someone else has and felt jealousy and envy? Perhaps it was a nice home, a high paying job or a house full of children? In today's scripture, God's people took notice that other nations had a king and they didn't. Even though God wasn't ready for them to have an earthly king, they demanded one from Samuel so they could be like all the other nations. Surprisingly, God told Samuel to give them what they wanted. Once they got what they wanted, they realized they didn't want what they got. This can happen to us, too, when we long for things that really aren't on God's wish list for us. Beware when you compare, because you might just end up getting what you want, but not liking what you get. When you do, you might even break one of the ten commandments, like the Israelite's did: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The Israelites thought the grass was greener and demanded a king when they already had a king...the King of Kings. Don't make the same mistake.
Think back on a time when you coveted what someone else had. Make a promise today that you won't fall into that trap again. And next time you find yourself playing the comparison game, choose to play the gratitude game instead. Make a list of how God has blessed you and be thankful!
God, I know your ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Help me practice patience, especially when I see something that I think would be good for me to have. Protect me by not letting me acquire it if it's not something I should possess. If it is something that you want for me to have, help me to trust your perfect timing. And, finally, help me be content. I pray this all in Jesus' name, Amen.