“I envy you!” A common expression used by folks of my day. When I use it, I’m congratulating a friend or acquaintance on the favorable position he or she finds themself in. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?
Umm, maybe. But what if deep down inside me there is a little more to it? What if my own life isn’t going according to carefully laid plans? What my station in life isn’t what I imagined it would be? Then, there’s the part of me continually comparing myself to others. While I’m at it, what if I drag my faith into the equation.
Tim, a friend of mine, goes so far as to suggest that envy possesses the ability to turn a person away from God. How can that be? It is possible for a person to turn bitter towards God when He doesn’t deliver the goods they long for. When this happens, envy becomes a complaint against God. Without realizing it, a person takes issue with the sovereignty of God, and the plan He has for their life.
How do I keep this from happening to me? Humility plays a big part in keeping me off the wrong path. God loves to respond to the humble. Humility feeds gratitude, and gratitude fosters contentment. It is joy, not happiness found in acquiring and possessing things, that gives life meaning. Joy can be experienced in both good and bad situations. Happiness, on the other hand, is fleeting — like chasing after the wind.
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT
P.S. Maybe, “I’m so happy for you!!” is a better expression to use. And yes, I should mean it like I’ve said it!