In today’s episode, the guys talk about envy and jealousy, as well as how to overcome them. Both of these sins, which relate to the sin of covetousness discussed in a previous episode, lead from what may feel like a relatively non-threatening start to all manner of mischief and further sin. In order to deal with them and the bad fruit they lead to, we have to start at the root. The root of envy and jealousy is dissatisfaction with God and our lot in Him. We fail to believe that whatever is not within God’s will for us is not something we need (or should ultimately even want). We embrace “discontented longing for someone else’s advantages” (envy) or “unpleasant suspicion or apprehension of rivalship” (jealousy). Saul offers an apt picture of jealousy as it grows and turns into evil action – in his case, attempted murder of David. And envy, the guys explain, is opposition to the prosperity or happiness of others. It is unhappy self-justification, and its antidote is finding satisfaction in the justification offered by God.
After all, in Christ, we have all things! What else is there for us to strive for? We live before God, who sees our every thought and deed, and He is to us a sure hope. Any other hope will surely let us down. Turning to envy for justification and satisfaction ultimately makes us discontent with the good of others, haters of our neighbors, and our own tormentors. Using envy, as people so often do, to motivate others and even to shape the behavior of our children, will damage us and cause these other people to stumble. Allowing any jealousy but a righteous jealousy to dwell in us will, time and again, lead us to evil action. But as believers, we need not behave as “mere men”! We must be rooted in love, which doesn’t envy, and cry out to God to help us daily to live as those filled with His love.
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