Envy is an ugly, heavy, painful feeling that is void of love and life. It is defined as a resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. Where love points all of its attention towards what is good, what is right and what is of God, envy and jealousy center on pride, worldly ambition and carnal desire. Where love looks to God for security and fulfillment, envy peers through life with eyes focused and fixed on selfish wants rooted in insecurity. Envy is the feeling of wanting what someone else has thus being dissatisfied with what one already posses. Furthermore, to be envious goes against the life and provision God has already made available to us. John 10:10 ESV “I come that you might have life and have it abundantly.”
1. Get to the root
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 ESV
If you find yourself struggling with envy or cant quite decide if you are producing envious fruit its time to get honest with yourself and search out the truest and deepest parts of you.
Once, not so long ago, I found myself always saying something negative about a particular person. It seemed I couldn’t bring them up without saying something negative or putting them down in one way or another. I knew in my heart this wasn’t of God and every time I would say something judgemental about them I felt my spirit jolt within me. Finally, I had to sit down with God and myself and search out why I was so negative towards this individual. Finally after much prayer and a whole lotta honesty I realized it was envy that stemmed from a place of insecurity and self doubt.Once I was able to identify the root I was able to pluck it up by the truths of God’s word.
2. Celebrate, Uplift & Rejoice
“Rejoice with those who rejoice;” Romans 12:15 NIV
When we begin to rejoice and celebrate the success and qualities of others the harder it becomes to harbor jealousy and the more we find security and confidence in who we are and what we have. When we rejoice over the victories of others we operate in love we build up and edify one another and from the successes of others we glean hope and encouragement for our own lives and endeavors. The truth is, when we are bitter and envious we do the most damage to ourselves. “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Proverbs 14:30 ESV When we celebrate others we come to recognize, accept, and celebrate our differences and when we celebrate our differences we celebrate the unity that we have as a body working together for the glory and purposes of God.
3. Look to God for ultimate satisfaction and wholeness
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” Psalm 121:1 MSG
Whenever we take our eyes off of God our troubles begin and we then become more susceptible to envy, jealousy and sin. We miss the provision, the love, and the protection the shepherd showers upon us when we are focused on the other sheep in the field. We overlook the still waters and green pastures he has laid before us because we are transfixed on the 2 or three blades of grass and the lily pad another may posses.
We ignore the psalmist’s utter dependence when he says in Psalm 23:1 NIV “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Truth is, it is incredibly difficult, if at all possible, to be loving towards others while having envy for them. But when we find our own security, validation and identity in Christ we are satisfied with who we are created to be, what we have been blessed to have and the talents and gifts we have been given to share.
1. When you search your hearts intentions and motives are there any areas of your life that are rooted in envy or jealousy?
2. How can you authentically rejoice with, uplift, and celebrate with or for someone in your life today?
3. List 5 things about yourself that God has blessed you with and take time today to meditate and thank God for these things.