Look At Them!
“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (drunken feasts), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21
I imagine at one time or another you, like I, have been envious of another. There is always someone who is better at something or has something better than us in life. 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells us how foolish this is, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number (classify ourselves), or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Paul challenged the Corinthian church to be careful not to compare themselves with each other as this can lead to envy, jealousy and contention. If someone wants to observe envious behavior, then they need only observe others as someone with a nice, new car enters the parking lot. There will be a few who go to check out the car and congratulate the owner. There will be others, though, who will stand to the side and make comments such as, "I wonder how much they paid for it?", and "I don't think they can even afford such a car."
Envying others is a flat out sin. We have grown comfortable in committing this sin, and we do not see it as the wickedness it is. Paul mentions the sin of envy at the top of the list of other sins that we would not argue against being wicked sins. I know when I am envious, it is because I become discontented with what God has given me or allowed in my life. I have envied those who were better looking, stronger, smarter, and more talented than I. I failed to realize that God created me the way He did for His honor and glory. He gave me a specific set of talents and gifts just as He gave others. He is the One who gives and takes away, and I am to be thankful for what He has given me and not be envious of others.
Is there someone you envy? Is there someone who got the job you didn’t, and you look at with contempt? Is there someone who has the car you always wanted, or were asked to lead something at church that you thought you were perfect for? Maybe someone is better looking or more athletic than you and you wish you had what they have. Perhaps someone can play an instrument better than you or sing better than you. If you look hard enough, you will find someone who does something better than you, looks better than you, or has better things than you. We were never called to be someone else, but we will give an account of the gifts and talents God has given us. May we view envy as sin and detest it in our own lives. God is not pleased when we are envious of another no matter the situation, so may we repent and be thankful for the things God has given and allowed in our life and use them for His glory.
Stay in the fight!