Devotion

Toxic Envy

by Greg Laurie on May 28, 2020
A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.
—Proverbs 14:30
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I heard about a crab fisherman who would carry his catch around in an open bucket. When someone asked him if he was concerned about the crabs getting out he said, “No, the moment one of those crabs starts to climb out, the others reach up and pull him back down.”

It reminds me a lot of how kids can be. In their minds, everything has to be equal. If you give a gift to one of them they expect you to give it to the others. And if you allow one to do something they expect you to allow the others to do the same thing too.

Writing to the believers in Rome the apostle Paul said, “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy” (Romans 13:13 NKJV).

Maybe you’re saying, “I think I’m doing pretty well because I’m not living immorally. And I’m not drinking.”

Yes, but what about the rest of the verse? What about strife and envy? The term Paul used for strife refers to persistent contention, bickering, petty disagreement, and enmity. It reflects a spirit of antagonistic competitiveness that fights to have its own way.

It’s really the desire to prevail over other people. This is someone who can’t stand being surpassed and begrudges others’ success and position. It’s someone who always wants to be number one, the top dog. If you tell a story they’ll tell a better story. If you talk about an accomplishment they’ll have a better accomplishment, at least in their minds.

I’ve heard it said that envy shoots at another and wounds itself. We have to be very careful of this sin.

Don’t be like that. Instead, focus your energies on becoming more like Jesus Christ.

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