“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” – Proverbs 14:30
Envy – a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements or qualities of another; the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another; covetousness; to be envious of another person or thing
At one point or another in our journey while we walk this earth, we are tempted to become envious of someone else or something someone may have or possess, whether it be a material thing that we have long desired to have, or a gift that God has given them that we want for ourselves. When we fall into these temptations we can quickly ruin the best of relationships with those around us. Relationships of any kind have no room or tolerance for jealousy or envy of any shape or form. God tells us in Proverbs that a heart at peace gives life to the body, and it gives life to the relationships that God has blessed us with, but envy rots the bones, and it rots the roots of those relationships if they are allowed to take root. God doesn’t want us to be jealous or envious of anyone or anything around us.
When we become this way, it’s saying to God that we are not grateful for what He has given us, whether it be the material blessings of our belongings, the people he has put in our lives & the relationships we have with them, or our very own gifts that he has blessed us with. Our hearts become ungrateful, unthankful, and bitter. Peace can’t live where envy does, thankfulness can’t survive where jealousy is inhibited. They suffocate the peacefulness that God desires us to have with our lives and our blessings from him.
Envy and jealousy brings so many enemies with them where ever they may go. Those two cause more trouble, very damaging trouble that kill, steal and destroy, just like Satan does where ever he goes because those two belong to him, not to God or his kingdom. We see many examples in the bible of how jealousy can destroy, just like with the two brothers Cain and Abel. What even causes us to become jealous? Sometimes the jealousy is started because maybe we have expectations for ourselves or maybe someone around us, for example, maybe we feel like we should have this or that, and maybe someone we run into, or a friend has what we feel we should have, and before we know it we are feeling that ugly surge of jealousy run through our veins. Sometimes it can even get started because we feel a sense of entitlement to something. I should have this, or I should be the one with that.
One of the biggest culprits for jealousy though, and the devil knows just how to use it, is insecurity. He knows hitting us where our very own insecurities are is the best way to suck us into the tunnel of jealousy & envy. It’s so easy to look at those around us and wish we had what they had, and that could be anything, but often it doesn’t stop there, and that’s where the problems begin. When we don’t pay attention to the red flag that God is throwing up at us, that warning flag, letting us know that we are starting to walk on dangerous territory, we lose our peace, our joy, our happiness with ourselves and with others, and we often fall into a trap of depression, discouragement, disappointment, and start looking for ways to fill ourselves up in unhealthy ways, and to start destroying the relationships around us.
God tells us in Proverbs 27:4 that “Anger is cruel & fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” That verse tells us that God views jealousy as worse than anger, and it’s because it’s a dangerous feeling, and it destroys our ability to love and encourage others the way God wants us to. Jealousy and envy is saying “God I want what you have chosen to give that person, I deserve better than what you have given me, and it’s not good enough!”
When we complain about what we don’t have, we are complaining to God and about God. We are telling God, “Look, you don’t know what I need, I know better than you what I need in my life or what I deserve to have.” Who are we to think that we know better than God what we need in our lives and when we need it? God knows all and sees all. He sees the big picture that we can’t see, and we have to trust Him and have faith in Him, that when the time is just right, He will give us exactly what we need when we need it, and know that if He chooses not to give us something, it’s not meant for us. When we stop thinking that we deserve something, and realize we don’t deserve anything to be quite honest, we can begin to let some of those feelings go. When we come to the complete & total place in our lives and in our faith where we can say, God is in total control of my life and everything and everyone in it, He knows what is best for me, He always has my best interest at heart, then we can begin to stop letting those thieves that root in our hearts.
We must change our way of thinking, and focus on the pure thoughts of God loves me, God knows what I need, and God will give me what He wants me to have. As we change our way of thinking, we can find other ways to help ourselves overcome those emotions, and kick those thieves of joy to the curb! One way is always to stop comparing ourselves to others and what they have, what they can do, who they have in their lives. Comparison is a thief all in itself. We only have one person to compare ourselves to, and that is Jesus Christ. He is the only one that we should strive to be like because no one else is worthy of us trying to be like. God made us in His image, no one else’s.
When He designed us, He had traits in mind for each of us, He had special gifts & talents for each of us, special features for our physical traits, and very special emotional traits. He made no two people a like, so for us to constantly compare ourselves to someone else is going to do nothing but completely frustrate us, because we can never be anyone else, and God doesn’t want us to. He wants us to be us, the one he created us to be, and not let the world change that in any way. We can also redirect our thinking off of ourselves and get busy blessing someone else! When we are busier being a blessing to someone else rather than focusing on only ourselves, God is surely to bless, and you become less concerned with what you have or don’t have, and become more focused on what you can do for others and better serve God. You get an incredible feeling that fills your heart that only comes from being a blessing to someone else.
When your priorities shift from you to others, you’ll find that all of those things that used to make you go crazy and eat you up, doesn’t even seem to matter anymore. We also have to realize that what someone may have that we want so bad, we may not be willing to go through what they had to go through to get it. This is one of those cases where be careful for what you ask for. When we see people around us being blessed, we may not know what valley they had to walk through to get that blessing, and it may not be a valley you are willing to cross over in order to get it. God knows that these thieves come to still our happiness and joy, and if we focus on what He tells us to focus on, take our own thoughts captive and count our own blessings, we are sure to hold onto our joy.
We must choose to believe the voice of truth not the voice of the enemy which is nothing but a liar. The enemy will fill us with all sorts of thoughts, and add fuel to the fire of any of these emotions because he knows how God feels about jealousy, and God feels that way because He knows how it can destroy.
James 4:1-3 says: What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you can not have what you want. You quarrel and you fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
God doesn’t want us to feel these emotions, and he does not want us to let it destroy us, and our witness to those around us. We must stand guard and fight against the enemy’s attack. Our prayer must be for God to redesign our heart and remove any jealousy or envy that we may have and give us a genuine heart of love.
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of he sea.” Isaiah 48:17-18
Dear Lord, Help us to live in this life with peace, the peace of knowing you have given us exactly what you want us to have, the ability to do exactly what it is you want us to do, to look exactly how you want us to look, to be exactly what you want us to be, and to only strive to be more like you and no one else. We are originals that you designed and created in our mothers womb before anyone even knew us, you took time to craft us in every way, the way you wanted each of us to be. Help us to remove any comparisons we may have, any insecurities we may have, and any jealousy or envy that has taken root in our hearts to be or to have what anyone else is or has. Help our focus to remain on you, what it is you want us to be doing, and being exactly what you want us to be each and everyday as we walk through this journey of life on this side of heaven. Remind us Lord that we will find total peace and comfort in you and only you, and that we were designed for a purpose that only we can fulfill. Thank you Lord for taking the time to make us each an original, and in our own uniqueness. Thank you for the gifts you have placed within us, for wiring us the way that you have, for designing us to live how you want us to live, never to desire more than what you see we need. Thank you for loving kindness! We Love You Lord, and are so very thankful for making us who we are in your image, one of a kind! In Jesus Name, Amen