August 5, 2008
Envy. It is a secret sin, and it is a sin that dwells in my heart. I have ignored it, but it is there. Envy is the reason why it is hard for me to be joyful for other people's success. I always like to find fault with people who I perceive are doing better than I am. Envy is also one of the reasons why I take joy in the misfortune of others. “Finally their luck has run out,” I think to myself. How childish and wicked! Christ followers should find joy when another has success. What matters isn't who receives credit, but that the Gospel is taught and people are loved.
Envy hasn't even been on my radar until I read William Barclay's devotional commentary on Hebrews. This morning I read the section on Hebrews 11:4 which talks about Able's faith. In the story of Cain and Able it is clear that Cain became envious of Able, and this envy grew in Cain's heart until it became hatred. That hatred caused Cain to kill his brother.
Barclay writes, “Envy leads to bitterness; bitterness to hatred; and hatred to murder. Envy is that poison which can poison all life and kill all goodness” (pp. 132-33).
I wonder how envy has poisoned my life? I know it is a problem, though I have never admitted it before. Envy is robbing me of life!