Even the smallest and most logical feelings of envy are capable of destroying the very life that we wish for. Lisa explains.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:20).
Envy sneaks up on us. We wear green today to avoid being pinched, but is our envy of others gradually rotting our very being away?
We may boast of contentment and God’s provision but do you regularly ask God to examine your heart?
Suffering fills our life with loss and these losses provide plentiful opportunities for us to realize what we are missing out on. If satan is looking for a dedicated believer of Christ to instill envy within, I cannot help but think of what a prime candidate I would be–mostly due to my illness.
In half a second I can go from feeling a specific loss–without grief (Oh! my knee just locked up. Well, I didn’t really want to go the grocery store anyway.) to enviously looking at someone’s life and thinking Why did you choose them for that blessing, Lord? They don’t even appreciate it the way I would.
I can try to justify by bitterness by telling Jesus my envy isn’t selfish. For example, seeing the photos friends post on social media can make me envious on behalf of those I love.
Oh, I wish my child was able to participate in sports like that and be recognized.Or it must be nice for her husband to get that award at work. My husband works so hard and rarely gets acknowledged. But being envious for another is still a sin I must confess.
This proverb couldn’t be more clearly stated. If you envy others it will eat away at you. If you avoid envy–if you grasp tranquility instead–you will find “life” itself. What is life? Joy, energy, hope, contentment, peace. Ironically, what we are envying in others is what appears to be “life”, (a full one), but by wishing we had what they have, we are losing our hope of life itself.
Prayer: Father, I am silently and shamefully battling envy more often than I want to admit. I long for the simplest things that most people seem to have. Other days my envy spirals. Please forgive me, God. Give me strength to battle my temptation to compare what You have given me to how You bless others. Envy will rot my very bones–as well as my soul as I become bitter. Don’t let it steal my life, God! Help me overcome my jealousies and be content with what You provide to me each day. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since 1993 and began Rest Ministries in 1996. Over the years she has learned the warning signs when envy starts to grow. It can start in small, quiet ways just like mold and really will destroy the blessings we have been given if we tend and cater to it. First step? Confess it and pray for the one whom you are envious of, because we all know that what we see is rarely representative of the the truth behind the seemingly perfect life.
Are there certain times or specific ways you feel envy growing? When you feel it creeping in, how can you immediately stop the envy from spreading and gaining traction in your mind?
This is Ginny Owens singing the song “Free.” This song reminded me of how we all struggle with such a variety of emotions that want to grab onto us and control our heart. Temptations and sin will always be a part our life. But when we are aware of how vulnerable we are–and we go to God constantly asking for help, forgiveness, and hope–we truly are able to be free from the weight they add to our life. We may not be able to cure our body, but we know whom to go to in order to find care for our soul. -Lisa