Something Don’d On Me! 2-6-19

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Proverbs 14:30
I remember when she sat down. Ronda Russell sat across the desk from me in Mrs. Harmon’s First Grade classroom at L.L. Brown Elementary, but her blonde hair wasn’t what I noticed…it was that beautiful yellow and green box. Yes…She had the BIG box of Crayola Crayons! The one with 64 Glorious Hues of the Rainbow…AND the Sharpener on the back of the Box!!! She had blue, green…AND blue green! She had Violet AND Purple and Umber (whatever that was!)…she even had BURNT SIENNA!! It was the ultimate in the Early Childhood Socio-Economic Ladder-and she HAD it! I looked back at my measly box of 16…and sighed.
“Why does SHE get all that??” I doubt I said it out loud…but I’m sure I thought it. “How am I supposed to color with only 16 boring colors?? I’m gonna flunk ‘coloring’ and they’re gonna send me to a Remedial Shading class!” And with a simple box of 64 crayons, a beast began to grow in me. The Bible calls it envy…and it rarely works out good.Actually…it NEVER works out good.
Envy is “a feeling of discontent or covetousness of another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.” It starts out simple…but quickly grows intoa darkness of the soul. At its core, it’s COMPARING MYSELF to someone else-their talent, their THINGS-and trying to justify why WE should have it and NOT them! It seems harmless at first-it’s just “wishing”. But it can eat at our soul, and steal our joy and our contentment.
Saul was envious of David, and it made him rot away on the inside. David was more successful, people loved him, and of course, GOD CHOSE HIM to replace Saul! Envy ate at his soul and tormented him! It started with simpledoubt, but grew into covetousness. He violated the 10th Commandment…and it became his downfall. Jacob & Esau, Cain andAbel…Old Testament stories of simple rivalries that exploded into envy…and resulted in someone’s demise.
“What does this have to do with me, Don?” Simple: are YOU violating the 10thCommandment? Are YOU frustrated at someone else’s success? Their happy home? Their well-behaved kids? Their nice car or nice job or nice spouse or nice money?? When we are envious of what OTHERS have, it’s often because we are not satisfied with what God has given TO US! It’s easy to think that if we just had the success or opportunities or fortunes of another…then WE would be happy! But too often, when we are COMPARING OURSELVES to others…it’s just showing that we are not satisfied in the God we serve and love!
The cure for OUR struggle with envy is found in the love and grace of our Savior! When we see that God is FOR us (Romans 8:31) and that He IS working for us, it is much easier to surrender our desire for “things”. It’s much easier to celebrate the good things in OTHER people’s lives, when we recognize all of the many good things that HE is doing IN our lives! And we will glorify God more, when we are satisfied in Him!
So maybe your neighbor has a nice car! Or maybe her life looks like it’s going well. Or maybe even, they have the BEST BOX OF CRAYONS EVER MADE! (It’s okay…Ronda always shared her crayons, and the sharpener with me!) Let God show YOU what He is doing in YOUR life…and watch how colorful your life will be! (You saw what I did there…right?)
Almighty God, I’m so sorry for my envy of others. Change my heart. Make me aware that you are FOR me and you are working for me! May I enjoy walking with You today! In the name of my Savior and Brother, Jesus…Amen
Shalom Alachiem-Peace Be Unto You,