“Then as you drive home and a Mercedes pulls up alongside you, you cannot help but turn and say, ‘God, I wish I could afford one of those.’ Then you think, ‘Oh, God! I can’t have that thought, so I’ll just drive my old Volkswagen down the road. But I’m being a very good spiritual person.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 48)
Jesus is saying here that we try hard to be spiritual, trying to purify our own thoughts even as we walk through out days. But do we succeed in such a personally driven desire? Aren’t we leaving something out?
Leaving something out will lead to resentment, surely the least lovable of characteristics. If we want the Mercedes, we don’t have to decide that such a wish needs to be squashed because it is “unspiritual.” Maybe we need to be honest about all of our secret wishes, even the ones that seem “unspiritual.” Then we are truly getting somewhere.
It is not the Mercedes, or our desire for it, that is bad. It is a false, egoic-driven way to be “better” in spiritual matters than we are. This leads to spiritual pride, self-righteousness, and, of course, resentment.
Acknowledge the desire. That is all that is needed. Acknowledge the desire, and then ask God if it is a legitimate desire borne of good will. If not, then is the time to alter our wishes.