Let’s be honest. Sometimes sin seems to have more to offer us than righteousness does. If we observe the world today, the wicked appear to have all the advantages. Haven’t you noticed? They maneuver their way through life with relative ease, they get out of trouble by lying and cheating, they can own and drive whatever, live wherever, and con whomever they wish to get whatever they want. And it seems as though they usually get away with it, somehow escaping all accountability and responsibility. If something gets to be a hassle, bail out of it! If somebody gets in the way, walk over him or her! When we compare that self-satisfying lifestyle to the disciplines of devotion to God and the restraints of His righteous standards, it doesn’t take an advanced degree to understand how envy can creep in. And we don’t only envy the ungodly. We can be just as envious of our fellow Christians.
And envy happens so quickly! And it can happen in dozens of life’s scenes:
When we hear a more polished speaker
When we watch a more capable leader
When we visit a bigger church
When we read a better book
When we meet a more beautiful woman or a more successful man
When we listen to a more effective evangelist
When we ride in a more luxurious car
When we listen to a more popular singer
The envy list has no end. Not even preachers are immune! Perhaps this is your daily grind, and it may be intensifying as you see your age outpacing your accomplishments. There was once a time when you could push that feeling away and keep a lid on it. Hope kept its power diffused. But as you get older and your problems chip away at your patience, perhaps your faith is approaching a significant crisis.
[Monday], we will discover the remedy for the disease of envy. For now, however, think about the effects of envy on your spiritual life.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.