Sometimes when other people get ahead, are promoted, buy a new car or house, we feel a twinge of envy. We are unable to celebrate their joy. Sometimes we act as though the good thing they have is lost to us, as if there isn’t enough good stuff to go around. We may even feel that something unjust has happened. Why them? Why not me? We feel that we are more deserving or righteous. Every one of us, to some degree, struggles with envy. It’s one of the seven deadly sins, and as cited in the Proverbs passage below, it rots and destroys from the inside out!
Ecclesiastes 4:4-6; Pr 14:30; Js 4:1-2; John 10:10
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ec 4:4) A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Pr 14:30) Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Ex 4:6) I have come that you might have life—life in all its fullness. (John 10:10)
A heart full of envy is fixed on what it does not have and misses out on what it does have. What a sad way to live—in a state of constant discontent. As Christians we should know that God is good and wants the best for our lives. Envy springs from a heart that is frustrated and dissatisfied with what God has provided. If we honestly trust God to meet our needs and to satisfy the desires of our heart, envy will have no hold over us! God is good and he knows what WE need, individually. Trust in his sovereignty and be mindful and thankful for His blessings each day…enjoy what you have!
How do you react when someone you know gets something new or a big promotion? Do you rejoice with them and for them? Are you content with what you have? Do you ever feel that God has ripped you off in the blessings department? When you get something new or a big promotion how do you share that information with your friends and family? Do you feel a sense of superiority or do you receive it as a blessing from God and generously share what you have? Are you more of a getter or a giver? What advice would you give someone who struggles with envy?
Look around at the people and things God has placed in your life. Give thanks for your blessings. Share an attitude of gratitude with those you love. Give what you have to God. Give generously to those you love, to those in need, and to those God calls you to help. Have an open hand to others.
Dear Lord, Help me to recognize and be thankful for the many blessings you have given. Give me a spirit of contentment with what you have entrusted to me. Help me to rejoice with those who rejoice! All that I have is yours. Use it as you see fit! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.