Envy: Not Comely. Sermon and prayer points by pastor E A Adeboye
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Read: Psalm 37:1-2
1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
One character trait that has led to the destruction of a lot of people is envy. Envy is evil because it demonstrates the absence of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). People become envious when another person has what they don’t have, or when a person can do what they can’t do. An envious fellow is one who lives a life of comparison, contrary to what the Scriptures says in 2 Corinthians 10:12:
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
An envious fellow compares his progress with that of his contemporaries, and if others are seemingly better-off in any area (e.g. family, children, finances, position, etc), he will be envious. Love does not envy, nor is it puffed up. An envious fellow cannot wish anything good for the person he or she is envious of; neither can he or she seek their good. Anyone you envy, you cannot truly love. Inside the heart of the envious are ill feelings, bad wishes and negative thoughts towards the person they envy. An envious fellow is also proud. You cannot be envious and humble at the same time. If you lack love for somebody, particularly a child of God, it is highly doubtful you are even born-again (1 John 3:14).
Some Christians not only envy fellow believers, they also envy unbelievers. What an irony! Today’s Bible reading strictly warns us against envying those who should envy us. Anyone who does not truly have Jesus is to be pitied, irrespective of his or her social status, wealth or material possessions. That fellow is just being fattened like a sheep prepared for slaughter. If you envy unbelievers, it shows you do not know who you are in Christ. If you know the eternal judgment that awaits the unbeliever, you will weep for them. If you find yourself envying a sinner as a result of certain difficulties you are going through, it only shows that you do not yet understand the Christian faith that you have signed up to. According to Apostle Paul, envy is a mark of baby Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). But why is envy seen in high places today? Why are those who should be devoid of envy still battling with it? In any way you have been a victim of envy, ask for forgiveness and receive grace to overcome it today.
Consciously lay aside every form of envy in your heart. You have your own uniqueness and comparative advantage. Take stock of them, and with a thankful heart, praise God for them.
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