Green-Eyed Monster

Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.”

Envy.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary describes envy this way:

“To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another’s prosperity; to fret or grieve one’s self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.”

In other words, to look upon someone else and want what they have or want what they are.

God’s way isn’t always easy. It is simple but not always easy. 

Concerning envy, we, as children of God, cannot look to anyone but God. Solomon tells us here in Proverbs that the antonym for jealousy is a healthy fear of God. But often, we are unprepared when the opportunity presents itself.

We see another receiving God’s blessing, and our selfish heart cries, “What about me?” Another has worked diligently and prospered, and we feel we should have the same possessions.

Until we can look solely at our life in light of God and His will for us, we will never be satisfied with what we possess if we shift our gaze off of God.

Psalm 37:1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.”

Envy is cancer that begins in our hearts.

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

Cain envied Abel.

Joseph was the envy of all his brothers.

Korah incited a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and was swallowed whole into the earth.

Haman envied Mordecai and hung on the gallows he designed to hang Mordecai.

The chief priests and Pharisees envied Jesus. 

There will never be an excellent example of envy. Even as Christians, we must take heed, lest this deceptive sin ensnares us.

Psalm 73:1-3 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

The Psalmist found himself thinking about how he had to suffer, and the lost, worldly crowd was blessed.

Psalm 73:1-3 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

It wasn’t until he set his eyes in the right place that he finally saw clearly.

Psalm 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”

What we see here on this earth is a minute fraction of what is in store for the child of God. The promise of an eternity in Heaven ought to change our focus. If not, it speaks only to how deeply the world has its hooks in us.

Thee fear of God ought to drive us to our knees when we feel the ‘green-eyed monster’ of envy rise in us. If we let it linger, it will only render us ineffective for the kingdom. 

Take heed, child of God, when this ‘monster’ reveals itself in our lives. Allow the awe and reverence we should have for God to overtake the envy that has crept in.

Having regular praise and thanksgiving time will chase away any envy that may want to take up residence. Then, you will begin to see more clearly how God would have us to live.

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