sharpens sight like envy.”
~ Thomas Fuller
Psalms 41 “Blessed is he who has
regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him
in times of trouble.”
Verse 5 “My enemies say of me in
malice, ‘When will he die and his name
perish?’ Whenever one comes to see me, he
speaks falsely, while his heart gathers
slander; then he goes out and spreads it
abroad. All my enemies whisper together
against me; they imagine the worst for me,
saying, ‘A vile disease has beset him; he
will never get up from the place where he
lies.’ Even my close friend, whom I
trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted
up his heel against me.
But you, O Lord, have mercy on me;
raise me up, that I may repay them. I know
that you are pleased with me, for my enemy
does not triumph over me. In my integrity
you uphold me and set me in your presence
Envy is being jealous of
someone else’s success or being happy over
somebody’s downfall. The Biblical word for
envy literally means “to eye with evil
intent”. Envy is saying, “I like
what you have, and I don’t like the
fact that you have it and I don’t.”
A leading secular magazine once defined envy
as the pain you feel when someone else has
what you want. Envy is often synonymous with
It’s so disheartening when envy
plagues Christian ministries or churches.
But, it happened in Biblical times too.
Remember the story of David and King Saul?
Saul was so jealous of David and his
successes he tried to kill him. When we
commit our lives to Christ the Bible tells
us that God anoints us. The anointing sets
apart and imparts. It sets apart a person
for a particular work or service, and it
imparts into that person a supernatural
strength and authority that he or she did
not have previously. In the spiritual realm
it makes demons tremble and Satan take
notice. You are a threat to Satan. The
anointing attracts attacks.
King Saul tried to kill David with
his own spear and missed. He then sent his
army to kill David because he was full of
jealousy and envy over David’s anointing
and successes. There have been times when
our shield of faith has been so full of
darts it looked like a piece of Swiss
cheese. When you are battle worn and tired,
that is when it seems the enemy comes in for
the attack. It happened to David. Satan
loves to launch his severest attack right
after you have experienced a major victory
in your life. When we won the federal court
case back in August of 2006, that’s when
the Green Sickness showed up on the
James 3:16 “Wherever there is envy
you’ll find every kind of evil.” I’m
sure you’ve seen this happen in most
churches unfortunately. A new member joins
the church choir. She’s attractive and has
a very nice voice and can carry a tune.
Pretty soon rumors start creeping out of the
woodwork. “She has slept with every
young man in the county.” Soon, you
won’t see this young woman at choir
practice any more. Matter of fact, she has
left this church.
3:3 (NCV) says,
“In the past we also were foolish…We
spent our lives doing evil and being
envious.” Envy and evil go hand
in hand. Another analogy can be drawn from
envy. Do you know how a fisherman catches
crabs in a crab-trap? He lowers an elongated
cylinder box with a round hole at the top
into the ocean depths. Pretty soon a crab or
two will crawl into the narrow hole. After
awhile, a few more find their way inside.
Boredom sets in and one single crab will
attempt the climb making it to the top, and
before he gets through the opening, the
other crabs grab onto him and pull him back
down. This futile climb goes on for hours
until they are worn out. If the other crabs
can’t make it to the top, NOBODY
makes it to the top. In other words, rather
than see this crab be successful, the others
drag him back down to the bottom of the
Do you know why envy is at the heart
of evil? Because envy is Satan’s favorite
sin. Satan was an arch-angel of God. But he
was not content with being an arch-angel. He
envied God’s position and he wanted the
power God had. So he rebelled and tried to
overthrow God. You don’t build a church or
a ministry by destroying another’s with
jealousy and envy. But so often we see that
happening around us, by angry, bitter,
insecure, and unsuccessful people.
Envy was at the root of Satan’s
rebellion. Do you ever think that when you
are envious you are being just like the
devil? Perhaps that is why the Bible says it
is so U-G-L-Y. Ugly.
Envy is such an ugly sin that it
helped to kill Jesus. Mark
“It was out of envy that the chief priests
handed Jesus over to Pilate.”
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were
envious of his popularity, so they trumped
up charges and had him arrested and
crucified. Have you ever had someone falsely
accuse you and file charges against you?
It’s sin. Exodus
shall not bear false witness against thy
neighbor.” This is serious
stuff. One of the biggest problems with envy
is that we don’t treat it as a serious
problem. Envy probably doesn’t make most
people’s short list of serious sins, but
it can have dangerous consequences. Envy is
a dark, dark sin. It is U-G-L-Y.
14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the
body, but envy rots the bones.”
So how do we overcome the
ugliness of envy?
6:4 says this, “Each
one should test his own actions. Then he can
be confident and not compare himself to
someone else.” If you are
confident in how God has made you, you
don’t need to compare yourself to others
Francis Bacon said, “Envy is
ever joined with the comparing of a man’s
self; and where there is no comparison, no
The good news is that God is not
comparing you with anybody else. God has
created you differently from everyone else,
so don’t compare yourself to someone else.
You are unique. Envy is really a result of
being insecure. It means you aren’t
comfortable with who you are, and not
satisfied with what you have.
Jealous people want what you have,
but are not willing to go through what you
did to get to where you are at. Do you ever
think of what others have had to go through?
Victories just don’t drop into your lap.
It takes work and diligence and lots and
lots of praising God, in the good times and
the bad times. That means especially when we
are going through the storms in our lives.
Take our ministry for instance, it’s not
easy waking up every day and standing in all
kinds of inclimate weather, being cursed and
hated, taunted, provoked, slandered, and
insulted and that’s just the Christians.
David never ran from his enemies when being
But to those who He has called, He
will equip!! Press on good soldier.
Envy is an expression of ingratitude
and discontent. Never have we seen so many
rich people in
, but they think of themselves as
“poor”. It’s the “whadda-bout
me?” syndrome, instead of, “Thee”.
Basically we are saying to God, “I’m
not happy with the way You made me and with
what You have blessed me with.” It
is the rejection of God’s goodness in our
lives. Instead of whining, we should be
shining and thanking God for His blessings
in our lives and quit envying and causing
strife to others. But envy really isn’t
our problem; it’s a symptom of society.
Instead of the church being in the world,
the world is in the churches nowadays. The
end product is carnal Christians.
Our problem is that we are searching
for the worldly things in life, instead of
God. Doesn’t integrity count anymore?
Instead of ruining and destroying others
because you don’t have what they have or
look like them, the temporary things in
life, we should be pursuing things worth
capturing. Remember that scripture Psalms
23 “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not
want.” If God is our main
ambition, then what more do we want?
Dale Evans became a Christian later
in life. She once said, “All of my life
I searched for the pot of gold at the end of
the rainbow, but then I found all that I
really needed was at the foot of the Cross.”
Inspirational point: Bottom line, God
is our ultimate judge. He judges our hearts,
not our fleshly appearances. He sees
Mother Teresa of
was very successful in her ministry of
charity to the poor and downtrodden in
. Some of her fellow sisters envied her
successfulness and recognition. At times,
they made her sleep on the floors of the
convent. But, she never forgot the “Boss
on the Cross”. He sees it all. And she
continued in her work of love and humility
to her death.
She gave us this prayer:
are often unreasonable, illogical and
self-centered… Forgive them anyway.
you are kind, people may accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives…Be kind anyway.
you are successful, you will win some false
friends and some true enemies…Succeed
you find serenity and happiness, there may
be jealousy…Be happy anyways.
good you do today, people will often forget
tomorrow…Do good anyway.
the world the best you have, and it may
never be enough…
the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is
between you and God: It was never between
you and them anyway.