Envy is a disease of the soul you can ignore for a while, but eventually you must address it. Like a slow-growing cancer, envy will eventually consume you. As you grow older and encounter more of the injustices of life, you won’t be able to enjoy the advantages you have because less deserving people appear to have privileges and possessions you do not. As time passes, this awareness of others’ blessings will rob you of that “perpetual peace” as envy tortures you with its deceptive whisperings. What is worse, instead of your being happy for others whom God has blessed, you grow more suspicious or resentful, maybe downright angry. “Envy,” reminds Solomon, “enrages a man.”
This is the week to come to terms with envy. How much more peaceful to be contented with what God provides! How much better to “rejoice with those who rejoice”! A mark of maturity is the ability to appreciate another more gifted than we . . . to applaud another more honored than we . . . to enjoy another more blessed than we. Such a wholesome response underscores our confidence in and allegiance to the sovereignty of God, who “puts down one and exalts another” (Psalm 75:7).
I urge you to join Solomon, the wise men of Israel, and Asaph: expose your inner struggle with envy to the Physician of your soul. Like revenge, envy is a malignancy we dare not ignore. Let’s invite the Physician to use His scalpel to dig deeply to excise the malignancy. If ignored, envy can become a terminal illness of your soul. Invite God to cut it out today!
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.