August 7, 2005

Love Does Not Envy (2)

Scripture Reading — 1 Cor. 13:4c; Proverbs 14:30

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. —  Proverbs 14:30

If it goes unchecked, the sin of envy will corrupt the very foundation of our souls; it "rots the bones." Envy stirs up at least two negative kinds of feelings in our hearts and minds.

Envy stirs up within us feelings of ingratitude. When our hearts are set on having what someone else has, we are not content with the way God has arranged our lives, nor are we thankful for what we do have. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a great baseball player, but God did not bless me with athletic ability. So I resented both God and my athletic companions. I also devalued the gifts God had given me (for example, singing and acting). Instead of feeling grateful, I often felt anxious, depressed, and irritable.

Envy also stirs up within us feelings of animosity toward others who have something we wish we had. This animosity can drive us to destroy other people's reputations, steal their property, and even murder. Only God's love can enable us to master envy.

First, God's love enables us to be thankful to him for the way he has made and gifted us. And, second, God's love empowers us to rejoice in the way he has made and gifted others. God's Spirit is at work right now, helping Christians to put envy to death and to put on God's love, which brings peace to us all.


Father, I confess that I struggle with feelings of envy. Holy Spirit, continue to put it to death in me. Give me a heart of love and peace, I pray. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship