Posted by: Bethany Davis | August 8, 2009

Covet nothing

A while back I picked up a daily reading book with St. John of the Cross. I first heard of him at Asbury, when a speaker referred to the “Dark Night of the Soul.” He’s most known for this work, which explores the moment when the soul reaches rock bottom and cries out, yearning for the touch of the Lord.

“The way of self-denial,” today’s reading, resonated with me. There is no halfway in self-denial; it must be earnestly sought.

“In detachment the spirit finds peace and rest because it covets nothing.”

How contrary that is to the subliminal message I too easily accept. Even after moving into Brumby Loft’s (a ideal dream for Brian and I after our wedding) there’s been days when I peer into larger unit with glorious windows and think, “Wow, I wish we had that.” It’s that type of response that will destroy the joy of celebrating the wonderful unit that God did provide for us! It is only by His power that we have a place to live at all!

The prized disposition is contentment. Ironically, it has nothing to do with money or status. It has everything to do with “coveting nothing.” If contentment could be bought, then the price tag would be everything. Like the rich young man (Matt 19), a willingness to forsake all is required.

St. John of the Cross compares a fleshly vs. heavenly mindset:

That you possess all things. vs. Seek to possess nothing.

That you may be everything. vs. Seek to be nothing.

Personal pleasure is not found inwardly, but in emptying self. This is what I must strive for daily!


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