Envy…a very dangerous place to be
Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by another’s better fortune. This definition includes jealousy, bitterness, animosity or covetousness. Of course, I have to go here and give you several of the Scriptures that speak to this because it is one of the Ten Commandments. “Thou shall not covet.” Envy is a condition of the heart and I do believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, had to put it in writing for us. Because it is a condition of the heart, it is a danger zone. It is part of the things that defile you. And, according to the Bible, it is a sin.
Romans 1:29 – “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.”
Galatians 5:19-21 – “(19)When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, (21) envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort life will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The operative word here is living. It is necessary that we confront the uncomfortable areas of our sinful nature. God is love and His love for us is what changes us from these harmful ways. Now, of course, the following Scripture contrasts the way we should be living as believers.
Galatians 5:22-23 – “ (22)But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)gentleness and self control. There is no law against these things.”
There are quite a few Scriptures that address envy. It is a good thing to be familiar with them and when it’s time to evaluate where your heart is, you know the standard by which to do so. From a Biblical perspective, it is taken very seriously. We should also. It is an evil and destructive force that when it becomes uncontrollable will not only destroy your very life but the lives of others. It is very important to recognize the undercurrent of jealously. It doesn’t just rear its ugly head at first. Most times it can be a very subtle adversary and before you know it, it’s out of control.
Envy leads to a multitude of other sins such as hatred. Titus speaks to this. Titus 3:3 – “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our livers were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.” We are called to drop these things; to separate ourselves from whatever separates us from Christ. We are called to examine ourselves and most of us know when we have crossed boundaries in our personal hearts. If we are walking the Word, of course, there is a check in our spirits. Once we have that check, we need to decide what we are going to do. Be obedient to Christ or continue in our own way? The choice is ours. God gave us free will and in that, desires that we give our hearts to Him.
It is not easy to accept when we experience such things. However, when we look to the Cross and know that Jesus died for just this reason, we will be overcomers in these situations. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. God has something special for each of us and jealousy, envy as well as other such emotions need to be checked at the door, the door to our hearts.