October 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love suffers long, love is kind; love does not envy." 1 Corinthians 13:4
It is such a joy to see the "simplicity of truth" gracefully lived in a believer. You wonder, "Why can't this be true in all of our lives?" Then, reality sets in, and we realize how the slightest rationalization of truth or principles of God's Word to fit our life-style, turns the beauty of a life into the repulsive figure that it is.
We see this when the malignancy of envy invades a person's life. Its seeds spread and produce jealousy, greed, selfishness, and prevents the Holy Spirit from leading us into all that God wants to do in our life. It grudges the success, possessions, or personal traits in another person's life that we desire, but do not have. It always seeks that which others possess that we want for ourselves.
Envy, when given but an opportunity, consumes our best intentions and is devastating, defeating, and deceivingly sinful. It is injurious not only to ourselves, but also to others. Envy creates wrathful and vindictive plans and it controls our mind.
The brothers of Joseph are prime examples of this. From the moment they were enslaved by envy, all of its vines of hate, jealousy, and bitterness began to find expression through their malicious acts. It culminated in their conspiring to kill him, cast him into a pit, and finally selling him as a slave to a passing band of Ishmaelites.
Saul also displays malicious envy after David had killed Goliath. The women proclaimed with joy..."As they danced, they sang: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands. Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' And from that time on Saul; kept a jealous eye on David" (1 Samuel 18:6-9).
Saul was so blinded by envy, that he could not see the excellence and integrity of David's character and the intimate relationship he had with God. He was so infatuated with envy that he sought by many devious means the death of David. The tentacles of envy know no bounds and are satanic. Envy creates uneasy sensations throughout our entire being, and lies deep within, out of reach of any common remedy. It renders us as unlike God as possible.
How can envy be subdued? First, we must acknowledge our own vileness...the wretchedness of our sinful nature...and let God cleanse our hearts. Secondly, we need to be filled with His love that desires to be manifested to others. God's love replaces the devastating malignant envy, and reaches out with compassion, understanding, and grace to others. It leaves the cynical self-centered envy mortified, put to death daily, by the power of God living within. Christ must be in control.
This is so important, because the focus of our life will determine our attitude, thoughts, actions, faithfulness, perseverance, and the whole of our life. Not only are we to turn from, and put to death, this evil envy, but Paul says, "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkeness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and envy. Rather CLOTHE YOURSELVES with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (Romans 13:13-14).
Filled with Christ...focused on Christ...led by Christ...there will be no room for these envious thoughts. So should we live!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-07
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