Do you envy?
A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
These days we lazy English speakers tend to conflate the words ‘covet’ and ‘envy’. But whereas the first is a desire for something someone else has, envy resents the other person for having what you don’t have. In short, you covet the thing but envy the person.
Envy resents another person for having what it lacks. The envious person might desire what another person has but would be content to go without it so long as the other person lost it as well. It’s really, really mean.
What a powerful image this proverb gives of contentment and envy. A contented heart at peace with what it has pumps life and health through a person’s body. But the bitterness and resentment of envy is a rot eating away at the core of your being, gnawing at your soul. Only our sinful hearts could conceive that such a poisonous life of hating someone else’s happiness could be wise or good. But they do.
Jesus displays the complete opposite of envy at the cross doesn’t he? The cross is his act of overwhelming kindness. The one who had everything gave it all up to seek the good and happiness of others, even his enemies. Even us. At the cross Jesus shows us that self-giving kindness isn’t a rot in your bones but envy is. Kindness instead brings joy, life and peace.
Head: Why is envy so foolish and contentment wise? Why do we tend to think envy is wise and contentment is foolish?
Heart: What things make you or have made you envious? How does or did it feel? Is there anyone whose happiness makes you feel resentful? Why is that? Consider the cross and Jesus’ kindness to you. How should that affect how you feel?
Hands: Do or say something kind today for someone you normally wouldn’t. How can you celebrate that person’s good fortune with them?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for your amazing kindness to me at the cross. Thank you that Jesus gave up all he had for the good of me, his enemy. Please forgive me for my envy towards others. Please allow me to know the joy of giving of myself for their good even at cost to myself.
A song to listen to: You are My King (Amazing Love)
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.