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Friday, November 2, 2007

Don't ignore the elephant

It's not something that is easy to admit. Some may have to face it each and every day. Often times it creeps in slowly and other times it is thrown right into our face. We think to ourselves, "I am not sure what is wrong, oh, but I know it is not that." It sits right in the middle of the room like an elephant and yet we choose to completely ignore it.

But one day we will be forced to acknowledge it's presence, otherwise it will continue to grow deeper and stronger and before we know it, our thoughts have been completely overtaken. What in the world am I talking about it? The spirit of envy! We don't wake up one day and choose to be envious. No, often times it shows up on our door step or has slowly leaked into our thoughts and has gone unnoticed for years. The sheer definition of the word makes me squirm a bit, " painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage." Oh, how painfully aware I am of those things that others seem to have an advantage in that I don't. Through the years my own insecurities and lack has caused me to literally sit on the elephants back and yet deny in my own heart that it was actually there.

But the one thing we can't ignore is the company it keeps in scripture. Just read through Galatians 5 and notice the other "works of the flesh" which are listed right along with envy.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

And does anyone besides me notice where it sits in the list? Between heresy (denial of truth) and murder. All I can say is that I better pay attention. King Saul ignored the warning signs and instead chose to allow the spirit of envy take root. Initially Saul was highly pleased with David and set him over his men of war. But one day Saul heard the women of Israel singing, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7). Scripture goes on to say, "Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on" (1 Samuel 18:9). God has placed each one of us in the body of Christ according to His purpose (1 Corinthians 12:18), and has assigned to each of us a place in life (1 Corinthians 7:17).

Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

The cure for the sin of envy is to find our contentment in God. Asaph in Psalm 73 was envious of the wicked as he saw their apparent prosperity (verse 3). He felt his pursuit of a holy life was in vain (verse 13). Only when he was enabled to say to God, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none upon earth I desire besides you." (verse 25), was he delivered from the sin of envy.

Has envy taken up residence in your own heart? Meditate on His truths and His promises! God wants to deliver you.

In Him...Chris

Chris may also be found at her personal blog Come to the Table

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Blogger Susanne said...

Wow, Chris. This is an incredibly powerful post. I don't think anyone of us can say we have never been envious of something or someone. And it really does sneak in through the back door over time. And envy is such a theif of contentment.

Wow. Something to definitely keep a watch over in my life. Thanks for the reminder!

November 2, 2007 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

WOW! What a word. I receive it and appreciate the challenge to do the inventory in this area of my heart! Thanks for your boldness!

November 2, 2007 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Heth said...

Wow, that definition was convicting.

November 2, 2007 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome post, thank you.

November 2, 2007 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger lori said...

WOW..envy...ohhhhh, it's a biggie isn't it? I can honestly say, been there and have had to DEAL with it in my Spirit...It certainly is NOT from GOD...letting it creep in...You are right "We don't wake up one day and choose to be envious..."

What words to think on this weekend!
Great post! I'm convicted to examine my heart..

November 2, 2007 at 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...


Great post. This is an interesting struggle for so many, me included. I can only overcome this through scriptures and prayer. The scriptures you referenced is so fitting. Thank you.

November 3, 2007 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

So, first we have to admit it and stop denying the problem, don't we? Hard to admit. But, so very necessary. Thanks for your words!

November 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Thanks Chris, great reminder!


November 5, 2007 at 5:41 PM  

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