Proverbs 3:31-32 (NIV)
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
Proverbs 3:31-32 (KJV)
Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.
Who is guilty of envy? I am. Aren’t we all? Sometimes it’s our neighbors money, job, house, physical appearance, and/or spouse. We have what we don’t want, and want what we don’t have. There is always something ‘better’ out there. Those guilty of envy, are found in the thought process “the grass is always greener on the other side.” In the book I am reading, Soul Detox, Craig Groeschell mentions this topic at one point. He says
If the grass is greener in someone else’s yard, maybe it’s time you watered your own. How long has it been since you’ve taken stock of what God’s given you and said, “Father, thank”?
I like that quote a lot. Instead of sitting around and envying what everyone else has, work for it and be thankful to work for it! The reason your neighbor appears to have such a green yard is because he worked for it. When we look at the history of those who have won the lottery, what usually happens? They receive a large sum of money that they didn’t work for, they have good intentions with it, but usually end up worse off than before they had it. What they have isn’t good enough for them, so they turn to the money to keep purchasing material things and up in debt than they can imagine, and loss of relationships over greed. They simple don’t know how to handle that much money because they didn’t go through the experience of working for it. Than we look at guys like Donald Trump who own millions of dollars, but not because it was handed to him. Mr. Trump has had to build his empire over again few times. His grass appears to be green not because it was handed to him, but because he worked hard for it!
Envy goes further beyond working for what we don’t have, instead of wishing for it, because there is always more we could work for. To successfully battle envy we must learn to be satisfied with what we have. We must learn to be thankful for what the Lord has given us. Right now we might not have the job, money, house, car, and relationship we want, but have we come to think that maybe we aren’t ready for it yet? Maybe God with His infinite wisdom has decided to withhold, what ever it is you want, because we aren’t ready for it. Maybe whatever it is we envy, will withhold us from serving God best, maybe what ever it is will corrupt us. We don’t know, only God does. Let’s learn to be thankful for not only what we have, but for also what we don’t have!
(Within the next few weeks I will be writing about Envy again. I’ve withheld a few things I was going to write here, so I can save it for latter)
- Friday Proverb – Envy Not the Oppressor (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Day 1 – Respond to the Lords Rebuke (31daysofwisdom.wordpress.com)