Faith Blog

ENVY IS DANGEROUS

Envy is dangerous.  James 4:1-2 says:   

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 

In Colossians 3 we read:

 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

Or in 1 John 2 we read:

1 John 2:15–17 (ESV)  Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

So how can we fight it?!  I believe that Proverbs 14:30-31 give us the answer: 

30     A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.  31     Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

A few things we can glean from this passage:

  1. We should endeavor to cultivate a tranquil heart.  It gives life. Envy can literally affect us physically. Daily we should be in the business of asking the Lord to show us what idols we've erected in our hearts and to help us tear them down.
  2. This implies that our greatest joy should be God himself. All else is idolatry.
  3. Idolatry litmus test (among many in Scripture): am I generous toward the poor?  Or, do I through my actions, speech, or even indifference oppose them?  When God is my greatest joy and not wealth, then I can see the image of God in another human being and rejoice in God and be lead to great generosity through that rejoicing. When money is my god I become stingy and covetous and closed and in so doing greatly dishonor the Lord. 
Posted by Craig Lester with

"BECAUSE I ASKED THE LORD FOR HIM"

The book of 1 Samuel begins with the story of Samuel’s birth. The father of Samuel had two wives, but Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was childless—mistreated and abused by the other wife even though she was treated kindly by her husband. When she prayed for a son whom she promised give to the Lord for all the days of his life (1 Samuel 1:11), she was given a son whom she named Samuel, meaning “because I asked the Lord for him.” When Samuel was still very young, he became a foster child of Eli the priest. Later Samuel would have three more brothers and two sisters besides his half-brothers and sisters. He would grow up to become a prominent spiritual leader in Israel, but before he was born it was his mother who asked the Lord for him. The Lord was gracious and compassionate to this godly woman who went through difficult times. Hannah praised God and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation,” 1 Samuel 2:1.

 

Proverbs 14:29 (OYB for today) contrasts those who are slow to anger and those who are quick-tempered: “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” It’s likely that Hannah practiced this proverb and principle of divine wisdom.

Posted by Bob Busenitz with

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