Why do we care so much about what others have? I’m not talking in a social justice manner, but more in a why do we, at least in America, make such an effort to care about what other people have? I think it comes down to an issue of our heart. Really, two issues. One being our desire for more and the other our pride.
For most of us we are surrounded by an endless supply of materialism available to us. We have megastores that have just about any gadget or you can always buy that fancy new thing at 3am online. The problem is that it is in our human nature to desire more. We have to fight against this. We care about what others have because of our nature to want what they have. But we are commanded by God to not covet what our neighbor possesses (Exodus 20:17). We also hear this right from Jesus’ mouth. He said, “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions'” (Luke 12:15). Jesus knew humanity’s heart well because he was God incarnate. He knew our desire for more.
Another reason we care so much about what others have is due to our pride. We hold an attitude with people sometimes that is prideful and looks down on what they have. You drive what car? You have what phone? You live where? These are all things we’ve thought or said, and it speaks clearly again to our human nature. Jesus again speaks to this part of our human nature when he tells his followers to, “Judge not or you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). Jesus goes on to say that they must pull the plank out of their own eye. Again, this is our nature for our heart to go towards this kind of thinking. We hold a position of pride over others.
We want more or we look at others in a prideful, judgmental manner. This is why we care so much.
If we really care about people we would look to God first. For if we set our eyes on things above (Colossians 3:2) we will not look to our human nature but to the nature of God. If we truly care about others we must look towards God in order to love others.