There was something wrong and ugly about raw envy. It was a corrosive that left a subtle stain upon a person, and bred a strange and sour bitterness.”
–Luke Short (Station West)
“Don’t envy evil people or desire their company.”
–Proverbs 24:1 (NLT)
Envy is a dangerous sin. It is one of the sins listed by Jesus and then a couple of times by Paul as being something that can keep a person out of heaven. One of the reasons that envy is so deadly is that it keeps us from thinking properly about ourselves and our role in life. It can cause us to spend and let our finances get out of control. It can lead to robbery and murder if a person wants something bad enough. It can also lead a person into escapes. They envy another person or what they have and realize they cannot have it so they turn to alcohol or drugs to escape.
Two thoughts about envy. First, look at the being of Lucifer. The Scripture says that “he was the model of perfection.” (Ezekiel 28:12, NLT) The Amplified puts it this way: “…You had the full measure of perfection and the finishing touch [of completeness], Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He was created “perfect.” He walked in grandeur and could even enter the throneroom of God. But that was when envy struck. He was perfect, but every time he looked at God, he saw more than perfection. We cannot comprehend that with our finite minds. We cannot totally perceive perfection, so how can we grasp God, who is more than perfect?
Second, when we begin to envy others for what they have or for who they are we are rejecting the purpose in our creation. Paul writes, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11, NKJV) Why desire something other than what the Lord has given you? Why desire to be someone other than the person God has created you to be? All that does is bring great frustration. He writes to Timothy and says that contentment is “great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, NKJV)
We all have a place and job to do in the Kingdom. We need to find it, do it, and not try to be something we are not. If you are the “big toe”, don’t try to be the brains of the outfit. Be content, work hard, strive to be the best you can be and don’t worry about those around you. Riches is not in the having, but in living life in Christ.