Envy is a very sly sin. It starts off seemingly small, then quietly sneaks up on us before it stirs in destruction that wreaks havoc on our attitude and outlook. Just take a quick look at Cain and Abel. The first case of envy quickly became the first case of murder. It ruins everything!
For example: You run into a coworker for coffee as he casually mentions the new promotion he just got. You smile and nod while congratulating him on a job well done. But while you are walking back to your desk, you unintentionally begin to compare yourself to you coworker. In your mind, he doesn’t measure up to you in any category. You work better, harder, faster, and smarter. That promotion should have been yours. Now, you can’t even look at him the same because every time you see him, all you can think about is how he is walking around with your promotion.
For you specifically, it might not be a promotion. Maybe it’s your friend’s new car or house or job or even…his wife. Whatever it is that he has and you want, if you are not careful, that’s where envy will begin to creep its way into your life. And once envy finds a way in, it begins to spread like a disease to all areas of your life. Before too long, you won’t be satisfied with anything because there is always something better to be had.
In order to put off envy, we need to put on gratitude and contentment. The secret to removing envy from our lives is to be grateful and content with the blessings God has given us. Paul says it this way in his letter to the Philippians, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT).
Taking on this kind of attitude will help us not only be grateful for God’s goodness, we will also learn to rejoice in the successes of others.
God, please forgive me of being envious. Help me turn my heart from what friends or neighbors have and be grateful for what You’ve given me.
Where does envy tend to rear its ugly head in your life? How can you combat that?