110. Don't be envious

Last week we had a look at God being a jealous God, and righteously so. Because His people tend to wander around looking for earthly gratification, instead of turning to Him for eternal rewards and never ending joy. As history has shown, God's people have a tendency to turn to idols, rather than turning to Him for comfort and love.

Now after last week's discussion the topic still drifted around in my head and I realised that there is a lesson to be learned on the flip side as well. Even though God is jealous, the Bible explicitly warns us against being jealous and envious. Now as we've seen last week, God is right in being jealous if His children wander off and rather love someone/something else more than Him. But it is not right for us to be envious of what others have. There are many examples in the Bible, from Joseph's brothers that were so jealous of him, because of their father's special devotion to his youngest son. And in their jealousy they sold him off to slave traders. Other examples are where Cain killed Abel, because God accepted Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's. In a fit of envy, he killed his brother. Or think about Saul being jealous of the fact that God had chosen David to be king now, due to Saul's disobedience. Saul flew into raging fits of jealousy, because he could see that God was now with David. And on several occasions he tried to kill David. His whole life became a mission to get rid of David, instead of asking forgiveness of God for his own sins and moving on. And so I can go on. Being envious of someone has dire consequences.

The Bible clearly tells us not to envy what others have. It is also one of the Ten Commandments:

"Do not covet (envy) your neighbour's house. Do not covet (envy/desire) your neighbour's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbour owns." Exodus 20:17

This is so difficult for us as humans to do. In our western culture especially. Today we may not envy our neighbour's ox or donkey, but we certainly envy their nice car, overseas holidays, beautiful house, clever and sporty kids or even their state of the art home theatre system. Or if we just page through any magazine we might envy how other people look, their perfect teeth, their well-built bodies, their wrinkle free skin, their flawless features etc. Or we may envy the progress others have made, while we are still stuck in the same position that we've been in for the past ten years. But today God is calling us to stop. He is calling us to stop envying others and to start appreciating what you have.

God has made you in a specific way and He has placed you in a certain position to be able to build His kingdom the way He wants to. Of course there are instances where we hinder our own progress and where we don't look after ourselves like we are supposed to, that is a given. But we need to sit still for a moment every now and again and present ourselves to God just as we are. We need to listen to His guiding Spirit and follow Him where He leads us. Instead of envying others, sit with God and listen to His plan for your life. Don't look around you all the time, but look up. Stop hating your features, but praise God that you can see, hear and breathe. Look after your body, the Temple of God and give Him the praise for every part of it. He is the Creator and Designer of everything and if you are squarely in His Will for your life, there is no need to wish for what others have, you will have all God desires for you and that will be more than enough!

Father, please forgive us that we are walking around looking at everyone else, instead of looking up to You and Your will for our lives. We want to please You and to honour You, so please help us to be grateful for what we have, because we know that that is the true secret to all joy. In Jesus Name. Amen

2 comments for “110. Don't be envious”

  1. Gravatar of AnnéAnné
    Posted Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:54:50 AM

    Hallo Ilze, thank you for your weekly posts - I don't always make the time to read them - but when I do I'm always glad I did... Here's my 2c on the topic of envy; Does each of us not also have the responsibility to not be a stumbling block for someone else's envy? I mean don't we sometimes just need to detach the mask that says:"My life is perfect, everything is sunshine and happiness all the time..." and just be honest with ourselves and our neighbors that our grass is not as green as it seems... know what I mean?

  2. Gravatar of IlzeIlze
    Posted Thursday, 20 November 2014 at 12:44:48 PM

    You are so right thank you very much Anne. Sharing as the body of Christ and revealing your weaknesses and struggles can be liberating for people struggling with the same thing. And then we can be the true Body of Christ, supporting and helping one another.

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