When Envy Strikes

“Love does not envy. . .” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Often we go through feeling good about things, until we see someone with a better situation than our own. Professional athletes making millions of dollars a year have been known to aggressively protest because a teammate makes more money than they do. Everything was fine, until they eyed what another had. They fell under the spell of the green eye of envy.

If greed has slain its thousands, envy has slain its ten thousands. It destroys friendships, creates havoc at workplaces, and generally makes life miserable. Once bitten, it’s hard to heal.

We need to remember that everyone casts shadows on someone else, and few people sit on the mountain for very long. We long for things others have, often without counting our present blessings. Let’s examine this further:

1. Not all blessings are suitable for all.
As God designs our life quite specifically, He also designs the blessings we will receive. Not every blessing would be suitable for us, and may not match our calling in life. We should ponder this when we’re tempted to envy another’s blessings. One person’s blessing, might be another person’s curse.

2. It’s not hard to misunderstand God’s plan for our life.
When we long for the blessings that others enjoy, and even pursue them, we might stray from God’s plan for our life. God provides us with the gifts and life situation that helps us to fulfill His plan. Sometimes we read another person’s life into our own life, thus creating misunderstanding. We want what they have, but God may not have designed those things for us. He has a different, better plan for us.

3. We will only enjoy happiness in God’s will.
Since God in His wisdom plans our life, He gives us what is suitable to fulfill that plan. We can count as a blessing whatever He gives us. If He gave us whatever we wanted, we would not be happy. Some people are not designed to manage a lot of money. Some should not pursue a life in public office. We should thank God for the life He gave us. He will provide further blessings down the road, but they will dovetail with His plan for our life.

Rightly considered, God gives us what we need to fulfill His wonderful plan for our life. We should fight feelings of envy by considering God’s wisdom in giving us what we need. We should consider what He gives us a gift, from God to us. Remember, “love does not envy.”

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