Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
– Proverbs 23:17-18
Two of the biggest questions this generation grapples with are, “What is sin? And how are we affected by it?”
Sin is crafty. It’s not always as obvious as stealing, lying or even murder. Sin can easily seep into our lives and rob us of the joy God promises us.
One of the severe yet subtle sins we deal with daily is envy.
Let not your heart envy.
How often do we look at others’ lives and think, “How can they be allowed to get away with that?” or “I wish I had their life.” We get sucked into the vortex of social media, and we compare our lives to someone else’s perfectly curated feed and think, “Man, I’m missing out!” That’s when envy and all other kinds of unhelpful emotions seep in. This is truer today than ever, and one of the greatest contributing factors to mental illness. Oh, believer – these are the foxes that truly spoil the vine (see Song of Songs 2:15). Cease allowing these thoughts to consume you for your good and well-being.
A decline in standards.
At one time or another, we have all wanted what belongs to someone else. This happens because we do not get to know God intimately, and therefore, we do not understand how much he wants to bless us. Proverbs 14:30 tells us that envy rots the bones. Envy is a silent killer; it affects our health over time. The Oxford definition of rot is, “a process of deterioration; a decline in standards.” So every time we envy, the standard of the word of God in us and the quality of our faith decline. When we sow to please our flesh, we reap the destruction of our flesh (see Galatians 6:8).
We are not less than.
To compare ourselves and our lives to others to the point of being envious, jealous and covetous would imply that we feel less than or incomplete in some way. More importantly, we are saying that the Lord missed the mark and that he is not enough! This is a lie from the enemy, who would love nothing more than to see our faith deteriorate.
Always be zealous for the fear of the Lord…Your hope will not be cut off.
Keep in the faith! I know at times it is easier said than done, but when we sow to the Spirit, reverently submitting to him in worshipful fear (respect, adoration, awe), the Word says we will reap of the Spirit, and our hope will indeed not be cut off (see Galatians 6:8; Proverbs 23:18).
Father, thank you for promising to never leave me or forsake me. Help me get to know you better and be content with what I have (see Hebrews 13:5). I believe what your Word says, “Let [me] not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time [I] will reap a harvest if [I] do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Then, as your Word says, “[My] hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
To read more about what the Bible says about who you were created to be, read Genesis 1 and 2, Psalm 139, Romans 8, Ephesians 2 and 1 John 3.
Created to meet the spiritual needs of high school and college students, the NIV Telos Bible is designed to be contextually relevant and to challenge young adults to take a meaningful look at the Bible. It encourages this diverse generation to know and follow Jesus while discovering what the Bible says about the subjects that are most important to them. Acting as a student’s guide through Scripture, this Bible includes tools like book introductions, reading plans, core questions and answers, and journaling prompts to equip young adults to make sense of the Bible. See inside. Learn more.
OneHope creates compelling programs that share God’s Word, offer hope and foster life change for the next generation around the world. Through collaboration with local churches and partners, OneHope’s mission is to see young people engage with the gospel in a way they can understand and that leads to a transformed life. Since 1987, more than 1.7 billion children and youth have received the gospel message through OneHope’s partnerships.
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