Ok, guys. I’m going to be really honest with you. Pathetic blogger moment ahead.
I wanted to start this post off with something funny and relatable to kick things off with some energy. Writing funny stories is one of my favorite things to do, and hey, if I were a reader, I would probably stick around longer if you hooked me with a laugh!
The problem was, I had nothing. Not a single idea. I was thinking through stuff in my life, stuff in Benjamin’s life, the kids I teach, my nieces and nephews, movie quotes…Surely something in the history of the world was both funny and had to do with envy! But my mind was blank, blanker than blank. So… I googled. I typed “funny stories about kids being envious” into the little Google box. I know. Sad, but true.
It was a blogging low.
And, you know what? I didn’t even find anything!
What I did find, though, were a lot of instances of envy that I think many of us might overlook if they showed up in our own lives. In the search results, I saw all of these studies and all of these stories about people who envied, not their neighbor’s car or their sister’s clothes, but subtle things. Things like relationships, time spent with one another, the love of their children. I know that I struggle most with envy of people who seem to have more talent or organization or creativity than me.
Envy isn’t always packaged in the way that we tend to describe it. It’s a sneaky emotion that can even convince us that it is something else entirely — sometimes even something noble, like wanting to be a good influence or wanting to make beautiful art or wanting to be a good parent, sibling, or spouse. Don’t let it fool you. It’s a sin, pure and simple.
Envy stems from a heart problem, and it grows most easily when we aren’t being vigilant over our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
That’s where the Bible comes in. In it’s pages, God can speak to us about His goodness, His love, and His blessing. It reminds us that there is a God who designed us to be just who and how we are, and that there are things to worry about that are of far more value and significance than our world-focused longings.
Here are 5 verses I have found that help me on those days when I just can’t seem to fight off envy’s nagging:
Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. -Psalm 25:4-5 (emphasis added)
No temptationhas overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. -Hebrews 13:5
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” -Luke 12:15
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4
Whether it is wealth, objects, opportunity, or ability we envy, these verses show us how shallow and wrong that is. We are so rich in Christ Jesus and so blessed by our loving Father. What more can we really ask for?
Thank you so much for all of the abundant, overflowing, overwhelming blessings that You give to me every day. There are so many that I just overlook without appreciating, so many that I just take for granted. I am so sorry for that.
Lord, I ask for your help to fix my heart. I ask that you would use these verses to help me and those who read this post to understand that we can trust You, that Your design is best, and that You love us enough to give us exactly what we need.
I ask for strength to keep from falling into envy. Keep my eyes focused on You.
In Jesus’s name, I am able to ask all of these things.