True confessions, I have felt the pursuance of envy on my heart over the last couple of weeks. Like an unwanted solicitor, the image of envy, with green eyes, dressed in the clothing of entitlement, pride and selfishness, has persisted in trying to get me to allow it in. I don’t need a show of hands, but anyone else having to bar their doors and post “No Trespassing Allowed” signs? Like the persistent solicitor either on the phone or at the door, it keeps calling and calling trying to get me to respond, and regrettably, from time to time I have answered to hear what it had to say.
Envy is the desire to have something that is possessed by another. Envy, like all sin, is destructive. Very destructive. Envy destroys us. It destroys our relationships with others. It destroys others. And it destroys our example of who Jesus is to others. Envy is never satisfied. It always wants more.
Proverbs 14:30 says that, “envy rots the bones.” Can you just feel it? It starts out as a sticky, slimy, sickening, grimy feeling and before you know it, it has permeated our very support structure, and the decay progresses at the speed of time elapsed photography. I hate it.
I can see the hot breath of envy making clouds of vapor out in the cold, outside of my heart, and I’ve noticed that it is often accompanied by its cohorts discontent and ingratitude. We want something that we do not have, and we are not pleased with God’s plan for our lives. We want what someone else has, rather than being satisfied with what God has given us. When I allow these two things to enter in to the home of my heart, I can almost be guaranteed that their pal envy is present, even if I did not notice it at first. I need to also be aware of these two harmful guests. Their boss is pride, and I know better than getting involved with pride. The enemy of our souls tries to sell us all sorts of lies. He entices and incites to evil. It brings him satisfaction. I do not want to be part of his supply of satisfaction. Pride alienates me from God, and I do not desire that. I love Him too much.
So, what do we do? Know what it looks like. Do not open the door. Do not answer the call. It can come in masqueraded as something else, like justice and truth, but it is not. Lay whatever you are feeling along side of what God’s Word says and look to see what is true. Ask the Lord to reveal it to you, and ask Him to show you the truth about yourself. If any envy has made its way in to your heart, rid of it (1 Peter 2:1)! Clear the home of your heart of this toxic, hazardous poison (Kick it out!) by asking for forgiveness and asking the Lord to show you who He has created you to be.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says this, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” In addition, practice joy, prayer and thanksgiving. It is a choice! When our hearts are full of these godly things, they act as a barricade against the entry of those things that destroy, like envy -- their presence is a sign to sin that says, “No Trespassing Allowed!”
PS Not always easy, perhaps never is. I'm a work in progress, for sure. Off to work on all of the above myself ... thankfully, God is here to help.