Have you ever been scrolling instagram, only to find the picture of a kitchen that you LOVE. You click the profile, and soon discover thru a quick investigation of the profile that the person is your age or younger, has a grid full of travels, family pics, and TONS of amazing swag….here come the bubbles “must be nice” you think and suddenly feel like you’re failing at this thing >>> <insert> ENVY.
This post is all about that green little monster, that when around can really infiltrate and take over SO MUCH in your life.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited. – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Envy is resentful desire.
As mentioned above, love does not envy. If it did, it would make rivals, NOT LOVERS. A very distinct command from God is to love thy neighbor. How can we do that if we are not wanting our neighbor to enjoy the blessings they’ve been given? We want what they have, or mad they are who we want to be. It also manifests into being mad that the person has or is a particular thing.
Envy is dangerous because it is completely disobedient to what God wants for us to be.
Envy is self righteous.
Much like pride, envy is basically self worship. It’s about self-justification. ” I should have that or be that.” We don’t see ourselves has falling short of the glory of God, but being denied the glory we feel we are owed. Which, much like pride, moves God from his rightful place. WE are not equal to God. That’s the reality.
This is difficult to just get over. It’s inherently part of our flesh. We are animalistic in our focus to survive, and when we think someone is living better than us…we naturally want to partake in that too. Think about a pack of wolves eating their prey. Top dog eats first, gets the best cuts of meat, and the scraps are left…left for the rest of the pack. When we get caught in the comparison game…we feel we’ve been given scraps. How sad.
Is it though? Or are we just living in the exact place that we are meant to be because our reality of the choices we’ve made, the lessons that He wants us to learn, and the cross-section of it all have intertwined.
Who cares what others are up to? Is that our life, nope. Does their life create hinges in our own? Nope. Let’s do ourselves the greatest service of MOVING ON! We are living our life, no past, and no distant future can give us a life to live right now. Only we can live now.
It’s that simple.
Who are we?
Envy takes love out.
If we can get rid of time spent being envious, we can gain time in loving other people. And love…love breeds joy. Joy breeds a good life.
Let’s not become slaves to consumerism, comparison, and the unthrottled need for more. Since when did owing more, having more, and spending all we can equal a life well lived?
Sure, you can desire to be in a better spot in life. You shouldn’t be content with living poorly or not trying to better your circumstance. We should all be striving to live more fully in God’s likeness, not in our flesh.
Life is special. Life is finite.
Who has time to sit around thinking “shoulda, coulda, woulda”??? God has a whole heck of a lot more to offer, and you’ll never be receptive to it if you’re blinded by what you don’t have. NEWS FLASH! There will always and forever be someone that has something “more” than you.
Period. The end. Amen.
What can you do to beat envy?
In Romans 13:8 Paul writes “Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law”
Paul addresses envy straight on…..do not owe anyone anything in the traditional sense. Don’t accumulate crap. To put it blunt…don’t gain debt living a life based on selfish ambition and desire > NO, only owe LOVE! Owing love would mean that our life will be postured on giving instead of taking, a true principle of our Lord and Savior.
He owes us NOTHING, but paid the price for our sins. He paid our debt, and freed us from that. WHAT A GIFT! He paid our balance IN FULL so that we may live. Do something with that. Imagine if someone came and paid off all your responsibilities > would your first action be to go get more debt? Would you put yourself back in the same place?
I don’t think so. That freedom would be so sweet and savory. You would be lighthearted, your job wouldn’t feel so obligatory, you’d be able to enjoy each day knowing that you weren’t dependent.
Guess what…. WE ARE FREE!
You don’t have to feel like you don’t have something because someone else does. Listen, I know it’s hard. Living in the world we live in complicates this scenario because we are bombarded with feeling the need to prove, or present ourselves in a certain light.
And I fully admit, I absolutely fall into feeling like I deserve more, or being annoyed towards someone else’s success in an area I’m seeking to succeed in.
I get frustrated when I see others making moves I wish to be making. Its defeating. And here’s the really hard part to admit. Often, I don’t even think about it from a God perspective. He doesn’t even come to mind. For instance, I don’t really ever think >> “wow, God really blessed them, I wonder why He decided to give them that and not me”, NOPE. My flesh can be even worse because I don’t even consider God to be in the picture at all. My thoughts usually go something like this “Man, I am so much better than her at ____. I can’t believe people would want to listen to her and support her. I can offer so much more than her.” >>> PHEW! That’s one green hideous egotistical monster right there! And I’m embarrassed to say that I deal with those thoughts.
Envy is challenging because nobody wants to feel less than. That’s the root.
GIVE THANKS IN EVERYTHING. Cultivate a perspective of thanksgiving. Envy is not of the Lord.
You can do more in life coming from a place of love and appreciation, rather than pushing to beat someone else or be more than your neighbor. God is love, and He died for us to love one another and bring others into the light He has given to us by living out the love He has put inside each of us. We are here for one purpose >> to love the Lord, to worship Him, and let it be known!
What place does buying even one inanimate object really have? Now, I’m not trying to say give everything away, money is evil, spending it is worse than Satan himself. No, no, no….I’m just saying…put it in it’s place. Being jealous of another person DOES NOT SERVE you in any way. It is wasted energy, and a poverty mindset.
We are not impoverished as believers in God. He provides it all, and we live in ABUNDANCE following Him. There is nothing we can need more than knowing Him.
Let all the rest, just rest where it is. It truly has no place in your life, in your story, or in what God has planned for you.
Live for God each day, and cling to the truth of His faithfulness to you. He will never forsake you. And there is nothing this world can offer that compares to what He wants for your life. (I’m really having to let this sink in as I write. I’m needing this truth.)
If you feel pushed to share >> how has envy conquered you in some way? How did you beat it down?
To check out the first part to the Seven Deadly Sin Series, click here.