October 24, 2017

When You Struggle with Envy

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 24, 2017

By Shana Schutte

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Psalm 143:8

In my early forties, when I was still single, I ran into an old friend at a coffee shop. After our short, but pleasant conversation which included the topics of her kids, husband, and what I have been doing in my career, she walked away with a smile and a wave. Moments after she left, I felt a surprising and disgusting emotion rise up in my heart: envy. I was shocked by how I felt, so I prayed, “Alright, Lord. Where is this coming from? Why do I feel this way?”

God immediately revealed to me that I felt cheated. My friend had what I wanted: a family. I secretly felt deprived of what I longed for most. I opened my Bible and asked the Holy Spirit to speak to me about my heart attitude.

If you have ever wrestled with envy for any reason, here are three characteristics about it that I hope you find helpful.

Envy has a distorted view of God’s character. Envy involves feeling cheated. Therefore, the person who envies disbelieves God’s goodness, His love, or that He is in control. When we envy, we also reject the truth that God is intimately involved in all the affairs of our life, and that we have been hemmed in “behind and before” by a loving Father who knows our name (Psalm 139).

Envy rejects the truth that God only gives good gifts. Envy believes the lie that God’s gifts are not good enough. The person who envies denies that the boundary lines–or provision–that God has given them is pleasant (Psalm 16:6). The provision God has assigned to each of his children is actually very personal. It would be unfair for Him to treat everyone the same because it would deny the unique way He has created each one of us.

Envy believes it has been overlooked. The heart that envies says, “What I have is not enough. God has blown it in taking care of me; I have been overlooked by Him.” To allow envy to take over our heart means disbelieving that God has a personal plan for us—and therefore, we reject the unique gifts He has given.

Perhaps all of the above are reasons why God says we should be content with what we have because He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-6), not to covet what others possess (Exodus 20:17), to remember He raises one up and puts another one down (Psalm 75:7) and that we are loved by Jesus the way He is loved by His Father (John 15:9).

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

 

Prayer

Oh, Lord. I confess my envy and jealousy as a sign of my lack of faith and belief in your love for me. Forgive me for my attitude. Thank you for all the blessings you have given me that are uniquely mine, handpicked by you. Thank you that you will never leave me or forsake me and that what you have given me is good and it’s enough. Amen.

Application

Do you struggle with envy? If any of the above points speak to you, search the Scriptures today to find truths that prove that God sees you, He loves you, He gives good gifts, and He hasn’t overlooked you. Then tell Him thanks.

Related Reading

1 Corinthians 3:3; Ecclesiastes 4:4; Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 27:4

Post/Tweet today

God does not treat everyone the same because of the unique way He has created each one of us.  #WisdomHunters #envy

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