In order to envy someone else, you first need to be dissatisfied with what God has given you.
30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
This image is arresting, isn’t it? Envy, like a wasting disease, eating away health and strength from the inside.
Being envious is looking at the other person and saying, “I hate it that they have what I want, and that I don’t have it”. Body type, friends, house, money success… Envy is having a heart & mind that resents another person for having what you don’t have, and resents God for not giving it to you. It’s a self-destructive state of heart that rots away our connection with other people and with God. It’s the thought that comes from deep down in our bones that says, “God hasn’t blessed me”. What makes you envious?
On the other hand, peace gives life to the body. Being at peace with God comes from a heart & mind which truly believes that God knows exactly what is needed for you to become the person that He wants you to be. A person who is growing together with His people to be more like Jesus. Envy is dissolved by being at peace with God, and believing that He knows you much better than you know yourself. Peace with God enables you to see and enjoy the flourishing life of others. It enables you to see God at work in your life and in the lives of people around you, and empowers you to give thanks, celebrating His perfect wisdom, knowledge, and love.
Peace with God and knowing God is only possible because of what Jesus has done at the cross, and His gift of new life given by His Spirit. He comes to cleanse your soul, and wipe away all of your unworthiness. He adopts you into His family, and reserves for you an eternal place at His table in the life to come.
To live your life knowing who Jesus is and what He has done for you; to live life knowing Jesus, is to live with a heart that is at peace. It is to be a person filled with life – the life of Jesus through His Holy Spirit. Life beyond bone-rotting envy. Life beyond sin.
Head: Do I believe that God knows what things are helpful and unhelpful for my growth as a follower of Jesus?
Heart: How does the new life Jesus has given me change the way I feel about other people succeeding when I fail?
Hands: How can I celebrate the good things that God is doing in the lives of people around me?
Prayer: Lord God, I confess that there are some people & things that I am really jealous of. I’m so sorry that I doubt you. Please help me to totally trust you, and trust that you know exactly what I need in order to live a life that honours you and helps others to know you and love you too. I confess that you are perfectly good, and I know that you work to bring about what is ultimately best for those who love you. Help me to take joy in You and in other people, so that I can live a life of thanksgiving instead of envy. Amen
A song to listen to: All I Have is Christ