A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
Being a visual person means that I take a risk each time I do a bit of research online. The images that pop up stay with me long after I’ve viewed them. I wanted to learn about what causes bone to rot. I saw a few pictures I’d like to forget.
I read about an infection in the bones that is caused by an open wound. I read about how poor blood supply can cause death to the bones. That’s what envy does to our spiritual bones.
the feeling of discontent and ill will brought about by another person’s advantages, possessions, or a resentful dislike of another person who has something that you desire.
I used to think that envy and jealousy were the same thing but there is a difference between the two.
the feeling of anger or bitterness that someone has when they think that another person is trying to take someone or something away from them.
Jealousy is when you think someone is trying to take someone away from you but envy is when you want something someone else has.
I have to confess that I struggle with envy. Social media fuels the fire for me. I see a photo or read a post and I wonder “why not me?” “Why do they get to do that, have that, go there?” and the questions in my head rage on and on. I block out the life that God has for me when I feel sorry for myself or complain about my circumstances in life. But, envy is not a circumstance problem. Envy is an attitude problem. And even more serious, envy is a sin problem.
It’s not the feeling of envy that is a sin. It’s the action of continually begrudging what someone else does or wanting what they have that makes it a sin.
As I recover from envy I have found that there are some things that are very helpful in moving me away from being caught up in envy and moving toward spiritual health.
Identify the open wound.
Find someone to talk to about what is causing you to feel so envious. Is it one specific person? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do? Pray about the root of the problem and let the Holy Spirit work in you to clean the wound so it can heal.
Identify the source of poor blood supply.
Are you afraid that God has a limited number of blessings and that there is not enough to go around? God only has your name on the blessings that are for you! If you obsess over what someone else has you will miss out on the treasure that God wants to pour out over your life.
Find the Source of Peace.
Rest in God’s arms. A heart at peace gives life. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We don’t have to be troubled or live with the fear of missing out. God has provided peace for us. God’s storehouse of blessings will never run out for His children. Trust Him to provide for you. He never fails!
How do you cope with envy? Let me know in the comments!