“40 Things…” Day 35 — Envy

Ok…I’ve asked this before….but I’m serious….is it me or is this getting harder and harder?

At first I was thinking….oh.. “envy”…how do I write about that? I mean, it’s not really one of those “burning issues”…right? Right? RIGHT?

And that’s just the thing about this one….it’s subtle. And familiar! SO familiar….we’re not even aware of it in our lives. Think about it…ever since we’ve been born…we’ve been bombarded…conditioned….to….envy.

Envy is defined as:

“The Feeling of wanting something someone else has.”

There are at least 2 of the “Big 10” commandments (actually “words”…not technically “commandments”) directly related to this! But you could make the case that several others could be in the mix as well!

But check that definition once more. Notice anything about it?

Envy is a “feeling”…you don’t ACTUALLY have to act on it to have envy!

So, it can remain…nice and hidden…way down there in your heart…brooding with every page turn of Cosmo….every time the Bass Pro catalogue comes…with every commercial…with __________. The thinking goes…as long as I don’t act on it…it’s normal…right? Well…not so fast….keep reading….

First…let’s get practical:

What do YOU “envy”? Someone’s money? Someone’s beauty? Status? Power? Influence? Car? Job? A different job? Marriage? Kids? Body shape? Boyfriend/girlfriend?, Clothes? Straight Teeth? Hair? Eyebrow shape? Shoe collection? Drum collection (hey if I pick on shoes…I have to pick on my envy…just keeping it real)?

What do YOU….want?

I mean, when you think about it…this stuff is everywhere! But according to the bible (look it up…I’m not kidding), envy is NOT GOOD!

Check this out….

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,but envy makes the bones rot.” — Proverbs 14:30

Envy is rottenness in our bones! This is DEEP stuff….not superficial! It may look superficial….like clothes, money, houses, stuff….but it’s really down deep in the heart. So…how do we get at this? I mean, this is a HUGE topic actually! Well, one thought comes to mind that will get us started.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” — 1 Timothy 6:6–10

OK…every time I read this section…I’m floored…convicted…and challenged! It’s so true! Notice the language of envy…. “desire”…. “craving”. We need to consider our “cravings” and “desires” don’t we (that was actually the “envy” list you did up above….right?)? But even more than that knowing what we envy, desire, crave (the easy part actually), we must then turn to:

Godliness & Contentment (the harder part)!

Godliness is all about believing “rightly” (or I’m going to say…faith) and then how that “faith” manifests itself in your life (contentment).

So, think of it like this…. “What we believe” will be “seen” by your life. So, IF we believe what Jesus said about God…and about His provision for us…His promises…the life He has for us…then that makes a difference in how we live.

Why not today, instead of the “envy list”, why not make a list of all the things, people, situations in your life your thankful for…that are “enough”…that are “good”. You might also think about those who are languishing under the burden of envy….the “love of money”….the ones “plunged into ruin and destruction”….and pray for them. You know…it could be you! And then spend some real time today….thanking God for the good things in your life…and for others who don’t have it so “good”. And then watch what happens to your heart!

Tomorrow….Day 36 “Ungratefulness”

If you know someone who could use this…why not share it! THANKS!

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