Nothing New under the Sun #3. “Envy—Hidden till it’s not!”

Nothing New under the Sun #3. “Envy—Hidden till it’s not!”

Of the most-talked-about sins amongst us, envy is not one of them.

However, for a sin that is not often sighted, it is listed among the worst of sins; the kinds that will keep a soul out of the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21; Mark 7:22; Romans 1:29).

It is not common for a Christian to say, “I have problems with the sin of envy.” Although, we might possibly admit to petty jealousies from time to time.

Solomon exposes the entrenched, personal, and widespread nature of envy (albeit in the rear vision mirror of life), when he writes:

“After people are dead, they can no longer love or hate or envy. They will never again share in what happens here on earth” (Ecclesiastes 6:9).

You will remember that the murderous jealousies of Israel’s chief priests against Jesus did not escape Pilate’s notice. But given his strong sense of political self-preservation, he gave in to their envy and killed Jesus on their behalf (Mark 15:10).

One place you would hope that envy would never take hold is in efforts to grow the church. It is in this area where Paul spoke about those who were “preaching Christ even from envy and strife” (Philippians 1:15). Though meant to be personal, Paul simply bats off their criticisms against him by saying, “Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice” (Philippians 1:18).

If you are going to allow the jealousies of others to derail your work for Jesus, don’t expect to get very far. You are going to have to learn to ignore a lot of nonsense. Some of it being: snide comments hidden in “jest,” gossip that filters back through others, and childish attitudes that scream, “we do more around here than you do.” Hardly encouraging, I know.

Success lies in purging envy from our own hearts, and in encouraging each other to seek that which is truly worth wanting – Christ himself!

John Staiger


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