Meet Envy, the green-eyed monster. She admires a neighbor’s house and drools with desire. She gazes at another woman’s home and wardrobe and wishes hers could compare. She listens to her best friend talk about her wedding anniversary getaway and fights a twinge of anger as she fakes happiness on her behalf.
Envy is a subtle monster. The moment she discovers the door to our hearts cracked open, she sneaks in and unpacks her bags. Then she sets to work, whispering words that breed discontent:
- “Did you notice your neighbor’s new living room furniture? Nice, eh? A lot nicer than yours.”
- “So-and-so’s taking a Caribbean cruise for Christmas. Too bad you can’t do the same.”
- “Your coworker met her weight loss goal. She looks great, doesn’t she? Face it, girl. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never look as good as she does.”
If we let Envy have her way, she’ll mess with our minds and mix our emotions into a sour froth. The result? We develop an attitude of discontent with what’s ours. It can affect everything from material possessions to talents to marital status. Before long, nothing’s good enough. We’re not happy with what we have because someone else has more or better.
Scripture warns us against Envy. Proverbs 23:17,18 says, “Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.” In this context, we’re cautioned not to envy wrong-doers who seem to have all the breaks. But Envy can also wiggle her way into our hearts within our circle of friendships among Christian brothers and sisters. Either way, Envy is not an association we want to keep.
When Envy comes knockin’ let’s refuse her entry. Let’s keep our focus on the Lord and make a habit of thanking Him for knowing our needs and faithfully providing them. If we do this, He promises to reward us and to not disappoint our hope. Our role is to block Envy out; God’s role is to fulfill His promise. I can’t explain what that looks like in real life, but I know God is more than capable of looking after those details.
If Envy has been an unwelcome visitor in your heart, how have you encouraged her to leave?