Proverbs 24:1-2 — 1 Don’t envy bad people; don’t even want to be around them. 2 All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble (MSG).
I had a friend in school who was very outgoing and well liked. He was athletic, smart, and loved by the ladies. He had a lot of charisma and excelled in many areas I struggled in. I was very insecure as a teenager, and I honestly envied him. My parents did not care for him, and for the longest time I could not understand why. I thought he was great!
As I grew older, though, I began to realize my friend always seemed to be in trouble. He was rebellious and disrespectful to authority. He was always involved in some kind of mischief. I noticed many of his conversations consisted of trouble he had just been in or trouble he was about to start. I began to understand why teenagers loved him and why adults were suspicious of him. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my desire to be like him. We remained friends, but I stopped spending as much time with him.
I now understand why my parents had such a difficult time with the friendship we had. They did not want me to be influenced in a negative way. What I didn’t realize was I had developed some rebellious characteristics. My friend was definitely not to blame, though. It was by my own choice that I began to act differently, but his influence didn’t help.
Envy is never beneficial. We should not envy sinners, nor should we envy those we view as “spiritual.” Wherever there is envy, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3:16).
I want to encourage you today to get rid of every kind of envy. Envy births from discontentment and will only add to any disappointment you may be feeling. My prayer is that you will find your identity in Christ. Allow Him to shape your character.
Proverbs 14:30 — A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (NIV).
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