As Christians envy is a topic we don’t want to discuss isn’t it Friends? We all like to think we do NOT do this but is that a true statement? I can only speak for myself but I would be lying if I said I haven’t experienced this at times in my life.
The Webster’s dictionary defines envy and I have those listed below.
- Envy has an element of desire in it. Somebody has experienced an advantage or benefit in life, and you want that to happen to you. That doesn’t necessarily make you envious, however, because that kind of desire is okay when you’re drawn to imitate saintly people.
- The other element and the one that makes envy bad is that the desire is tinged with resentment that it’s going well for the other person and not for you. That’s what makes it envy.
So in simple terms, envy is having a desire for something you want that another person has. You feel resentment towards that person who is enjoying whatever it is you are wanting also.
Next comes thoughts flooding your mind. You start thinking things aren’t going so well for me but things are going well for them, and it drives you crazy sometimes. You start questioning why does it go so well for others when it doesn’t seem to for me?
Does this sound familiar to you? I know it does to me. One of my biggest is I absolutely loved leading choir and now that my hearing is so messed up it isn’t possible for me to do so. The music is too loud and I can’t hear through the earpiece.
I do NOT want to feel envious but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t from time to time.
So I wanted to list scriptures to remind us when we start feeling this way because we aren’t supposed to envy anyone, especially our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. We have the same goal…make Christ Jesus name made known and to make disciples of all nations.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Deuteronomy 5:21).
- For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:16).
- Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (James 4:5).
- Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:26).
- For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. (Psalm 10:3).
- Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways. (Proverbs 3:31).
- A sound heart is a life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. (Proverbs 14:30).
- Wrath is cruel and angers a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4).
- Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (1 Corinthians 10:24).
- Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. (Psalm 37:7).
- Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:4).
- Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them. (Proverbs 24:1).
- But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. (James 3:14).
- Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:17-18).
- Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. (Luke 12:22-23).
I know it easy at times when we witness others prospering while it seems we keep struggling but rest assured my friend…in Christ Jesus, we will be victorious in the end. Refer back to these when you feel that nudge of envy starting.
Your Sister in Christ