Do you want to hear a secret?

You know the ten commandments? I break one of those bad boys on a daily basis. No, it’s not murder, theft, or any of the juicy ones. Actually, it’s the last one on the list: “Thou shall not covet.”

As a content creator and small business owner, I am tempted to look at what my friends have and play the comparison game. It’s easier to do more than ever because we have numbers for all the world to see. We have a defined number for subscribers, followers, fans, and views. There are people I’m friends with who have actually gone viral and built careers off of having a certain level of fame.

And then I look at my life which just seems normal and small. My brain says to my heart “What you’re doing doesn’t matter. You don’t have what they have and you never will.” These kind of thoughts often lead to stress which I too often handle in unhealthy ways which are destructive to my entire being.

Last night I arrived at one of these points. After looking ahead at my schedule for the year and planning out the next month, I decided to make a daily routine and stick with it. This involves waking up at 5am to workout and spend time with God. In a podcast, someone was talking about the difference between “having a relationship with God versus looking like you do.” It’s so easy to fake it out and really, what it comes down to is motivation.

Do you do “spiritual things” because you genuinely want to be closer to God or are you wanting people to think you’re holy?

This kind of question can apply to all areas of life.

Are you working out and eating healthy because you want to live a higher quality of life or do you just want people to think you’re attractive?

Do you want a lot of money because you can better yourself and the world around you or do you just want people to be jealous of what you have?

Are you trying to build a large following so you can give value to all those people or do you just want to be famous?

Anything you do, are you doing it for God, yourself, and the people who matter most or for people you don’t even like or will never meet?

The process of unlearning coveting and caring what others think will probably be a lifelong one. That temptation will always be there, but I am aware of the enemy now and I’m declaring war.

To be clear, I don’t believe it’s wrong to work toward growing my business and following. However, the moment I let these things define me, they become an idol. Which come to think of it, is another ten commandment broken. Dang it.

My life is in God’s hands. The intention is to pursue the things he’s laid on my heart to do, work hard, have fun, and learn to love in the same way he’s shown to me. A fulfilling life of experiences, adventure, and impact can happen whether your bank account and following numbers are closer to zero or are in the millions. Wherever the numbers land, I’m learning to be content with what I have. If you aren’t already on your way here, my prayer for you is you start the same journey with me. And when we arrive, let us not be tourists but make our home there.