Here's the verse that caught me today. "And He said to them, 'Take care, and been your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions'" (12.15).
That so reminds me of Suburbia. I won't speak for everyone, because I know some very selfless people. But Suburbia has this pull of covetousness, of defining life by the abundance of possessions. It's what's in the water, in the air, in the assumptions of suburban existence.
Suburbia pushes us to define "us" by what we have. The newer and the shinier and the faster the better. And if we don't have the newer and shinier and faster, somehow we're not quite "normal." I write this as my inbox is pinging me with the announcement that Apple's new iPhone is available in stores today.
And I want one.
And that's the issue right there. I want one. Or four.
There's the poison. The stuff takes over and, like spiritual cholesterol, clogs our hearts such that we cannot and do not function as we should. They get hard. They die in places. We die in places with callousness present where compassion should be.
It's quite a fight - a war even - to beat back the entropy of suburban life. The best way to "guard against all covetousness" is to work be generous with my time, resources, energy, and so on. Generosity kills greed (in whatever form it shows up).
Lord, let it be in me. Amen.