Monday, January 26, 2015

The Evils of Envy

Chuckle:  Teacher: “What happened in 1809?”  Eddie: “Abraham Lincoln was born.”  Teacher: “Right.  Now what happened in 1812?”  Eddie: “He turned three years old.”
Quote: “Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”Abraham Lincoln
   “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NIV).  Love is kind. It does not envy, . .“ (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV). “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, . .” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
From Wikipedea:  Envy is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks a superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes the other does not have it. . .”  From the Dictionary:  Envy is “jealousy and dislike felt toward another because he has some thing, quality, etc, that one would like to have.”
It seems obvious to me that materialism and envy go hand in hand.  In a society where one’s worth is measured by what one has, the insatiable desire to “have” can drive a person into sinful thoughts and actions toward those who may have more than he.  Envy is the enemy of contentment, and causes us to lose the joy we should have in the life God has given us.   
Today’s quote is from a speech Abraham Lincoln made to a labor union in 1864.  I’m sure he was aware that a person’s hopes can easily turn to envy and hate toward someone because of what he has that I want.  Hopes and aspirations are great if accompanied by a willingness to work to fulfill those hopes in a way that honors God.  However, the envious often want what someone else has without the willingness to work for it.  Some may even feel entitled to have what they desire.  Our passages teach us some valuable lessons and we should let them sink into our hearts.  This fable reveals a great truth about envy.
    Satan was angered by the incompetence of his subordinates because they had failed to draw a holy man into sin.  He said, “You have failed because your methods are too crude.  Watch this.”
    Satan approached the holy man and whispered in his ear, “Your brother has just been made Bishop of Alexandria.”  Instantly the holy man’s face showed Satan had been successful: a great scowl formed over his mouth and his eyes tightened up.  “Envy,” said Satan, “is often our best weapon against those who seek holiness.”  --Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green. 
“A little grit in the eye destroyeth the sight of the heavens; and a little malice or envy, a world of joy.” –Thomas Traherne

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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