How Do You Respond to Other’s Blessings and Advantages?
A few months ago, I had some extended time with the Lord that integrated my mind and heart concerning a habitual sin that I have dealt with on and off for years. It is a sin that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is always devastating. It is listed in the seven deadly sins and rightly so. Maybe you struggle with the same sin—envy. It is not a sin that I am preoccupied with and it only happens with a few people, but one person is one too many when it comes to being holy before the Lord. “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). To process and remind myself of what God has shown me, I wrote a letter to God.
Thank you for convicting me of my envious spirit toward certain people. Envy is something I do not want to take into old age with me. Ugly examples of envy in the Bible include Cain, Esau, Joseph’s brothers, Sarah, and the Pharisees. Envy is listed with all the vices You hate.
Envy centers around resentment of other’s blessings and advantages. It is not being content with what You have given me and longing for what You have given to others out of Your wisdom. Not believing that You give to each what You know is best leads to my sin of envy which results in lack of joy. It is forgetting Psalm 103:19, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” You are sovereign and give to each person as You deem best.
Evidence of envy in my life appear as insecurity, misrepresentations, illogical deductions, and false judgments. God alert me when I am tempted with envy and convict me quickly when I give into envy. God open my eyes to You and Your goodness as You are the one who satisfies me with good as You define good (Psalm 103:5).
Envy is of the flesh and the only way to conquer it is through your Spirit, God. Show me and enable me to walk by your Spirit moment by moment. I believe that You alone can conquer this spirit of envy. I am depending on You.
Thank you for Your beautiful and poignant words to Peter when he asked about the future of John, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22). Lord, keep my eyes off others and on to You! You are sovereign, good, and wise and always do what is best. Remind me of the foolishness of comparing myself with others, “But when they measure themselves with one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12). May I behold You alone.
I love You God. Your power can heal and bring new life.
It has been a few months since I penned this letter to God. I have watched Him put a new love in my heart for those that I once struggled being envious of. He has opened my eyes to see the good contributions they make to the body of Christ and to me. God is in the business of transforming our lives to be more like His Son in all areas.
Another piece of information that was helpful came from an article by Andée Seu Peterson in which she wisely wrote, “Here is the thing, though: Finding out that you’re not the cream rising to the top is only traumatic if you thought you should be. And who are you to think you should be? A friend once told me, ‘Your problem is not that you think you’re not as good as other people; your problem is you want to be better than other people.’ Ouch.” When others rise to the top and that disturbs me in the slightest way, envy is the source. The honor they receive stings. Envy can be of people’s possessions, reputation, relationships, talents, or other things. Envy has a tendency to sneak in our hearts and thoughts in disguised ways, so be aware! Taking some time to listen attentively to God and let Him do some much needed work in the area of an envious spirit in me has freed me to be more of who I am in Christ. I am spending more time looking at Him than others these days. What area of your life do you need to be freed so you can be more of who you are in Christ?
Image from Rainer Zitelmann, “Why Most People Do Not Admit They Envy Success,” Forbes, July 1, 2019, accessed February 19, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2019/07/01/why-most-people-do-not-admit-they-envy-success/?sh=3c68a0a9567b.
 Andrée Seu Peterson, “Our Escape Room: A humble use of talents, without envy of others, will help us find our way,” WORLD, January 29, 2022, 62.