WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 15, 2022
TOPIC: WHY ARE YOU ENVIOUS?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 New Living Translation).
The Holman Bible Dictionary defines envy as “A painful or resentful awareness of another’s advantage joined with the desire to possess the same advantage.” It is “A desire for another’s gifts, possessions, position or achievements, closely associated with jealousy.” (Dictionary of Bible Themes).
Do you have a feeling of resentment and jealousy towards somebody because of his advantage, status, possessions, or good qualities, and you’re motivated to do all that you can do (and possibly all that you can’t do!) to surpass him? That is envy, and it is not the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God does not envy.
To be envious means to want “to be in the same situation as somebody else” or to want “something that somebody else has” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary). Exodus 20:17 says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (New King James Version). But that is exactly what envy does.
Envy makes you resent another person because of what he/she has. I’ve never seen any envious person who walks in love with the person he/she envies – it’s always hatred, but, most times, it is not expressed openly. So, there is a relationship between envy and hatred. “You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them” (James 4:2b New Living Translation). Did you see that?
Envious people fight and quarrel to take away from others their possessions or get similar things or things better than theirs. Romans 13:9 says, “Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (King James Version).
See this dangerous progression: envy leads to covetousness and hatred, which can lead to other things like stealing, robbery, or even murder. That’s why you have to deal with it in your life. Envy harms the envious and can move him to harm the person he/she envies. That’s probably why envy is also called “an evil eye” (Mark 7:22) in some Bible translations, such as King James Version and American Standard Version.
That description – “an evil eye” – is quite fitting because envy is evil and is among those sins that come from the heart and defile a man (Mark 7:21-23). So, envy will defile you. To defile you means to make you unclean or pollute you, thereby making you unacceptable to God.
It is unfortunate that many people don’t see envy as a serious sin. But if you look at other sins it is listed alongside in Romans 1:29, you’ll begin to deal more seriously with this sin in your life. It is listed alongside murder, and in fact, it is close to murder – an envious person is close to being a murderer. He can commit murder.
There are so many such cases around us. Some have been convicted; some are being prosecuted. There are those who have not been found out but are not at peace, because of a guilty conscience. Some may be currently looking for opportunities to murder or hire those to carry it out on their behalf. Who are you envious of?
Matthew 27:18 and Mark 15:10 say that Pilate, the Roman Governor who presided over Jesus’ case, knew that the religious leaders had handed Jesus over to be crucified out of envy. Cain killed his brother, Abel, out of envy (Genesis. 4:4-5, 8). Repent of envy so as not to become a murderer!
Also, don’t envy sinners or evil men (Psalm 37:1-2; Proverbs 3:31-32; 23:17; 24:1). “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the wicked; for there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out.” (Proverbs 24:19-20 New King James Version).
Don’t envy anyone because of his possessions or good qualities. Live your life; don’t live other people’s lives. “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 New Living Translation). Whose success is giving you sleepless nights, making you drive yourself crazy with work? Stop it! Repent! The New King James Version renders Ecclesiastes 4:4 thus: “Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
Learn how to be content with what you have (Philippians 4:11). Nobody has everything. Thank God for what He has done for you and appreciate what He has done for others. Thank God for yourself and others. Aspire to and believe God to be better than you currently are. Work towards it. But never be envious of anyone. Don’t be envy-driven!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of envy in my life. Forgive me, Lord, and help me to work in love with everyone and without envying anyone. I shall no more be envious of anyone but love everyone. Father, deliver those are driven by envy to the extent of harming others and themselves. Help them to understand that nobody has it all or knows it all. Cause them to repent of envy, appreciate what they have and what others have, and thank you for these.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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