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The Green Flu

February 2008

Nothing sharpens sight like envy.” ~ Thomas Fuller

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            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 forever.” 


            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 jealousy.

            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 sidewalk.

            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.

            Titus 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 pile. Envy.

            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 15:10 says, “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 20:16 “Thou 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. Ugly.

            Proverbs 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?

            Galatians 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 envy.”

            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 attacked.

            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 America , 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 everything.

            Mother Teresa of Calcutta was very successful in her ministry of charity to the poor and downtrodden in India . 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:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered… Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives…Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies…Succeed anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, there may be jealousy…Be happy anyways.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow…Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough…

Give 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.



To support and encourage Daniel and Angela please contact them - 
smallvictories@juno.com (email), 618-654-5800 (phone), 
or write them Small Victories P.O. Box 143 Highland, IL 62249.