Envy Ruins the Soul but Grace Revives

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21When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,

22I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

23Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.

24You guide me with your counsel,and afterward you will receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:21-26
Envy ruins the soul.

The soul that looks longingly at what others have will soon convince itself of its own self-righteousness and right to take.

When we cast our hearts upon the ease, beauty, riches, and power others have we will never be satisfied. We will miss what we do have. We will miss the wisdom of following God now and we will be in danger of making awful decisions.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 73:2-3

2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.

3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

In verse 21 he describes what envy has done to his soul. He is embittered, brutish, and ignorant. He lives like a beast toward God.

Yet, there is grace. There is grace for the soul being ruined by envy. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heard and my portion forever.”

Such is the grace of God in Christ Jesus that we can say, “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (verse 28)

Envy destroys

1Truly God is good to Israel,

to those who are pure in heart.

2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

my steps had nearly slipped.

3 For I was envious of the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psalm 73:1-3

 

Envy.

You’ve been looking around and the conspicuous

consumption of other people has fuelled your discontent.

 

You know those moments when you are tempted

to take a shortcut to get the status or stuff others

seem to enjoy so easily. Its called cheating.

 

You’ve been comparing yourself to others and

are consumed with self-doubt and condemnation.

 

Envy is the death of contentment.

 

Envy fuels self-righteousness.

 

Envy can never satisfactorily fuel ambition for

it creates an ambition that will crush us.

 

Envy clouds our capacities for both mercy and justice.

 

The Gospel interrupts the envy cycle with

the announcement of hope in the Kingdom of God and

confidence in the love of God.

 

Live loved.