Envy: A Poison of the Soul
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."1
"Aesop had a fable about two eagles, one envious of the other because the other could soar higher and more elegantly than he could. So the envious eagle would pluck his strongest feathers from his own body and shoot them as arrows, trying to wound or kill the other eagle. It was his own undoing, however. He could not hit the high flying eagle, and he was eventually grounded by his lack of feathers. Envy destroyed the eagle."2
Envy, greed, and jealousy are all related. They are not only destroyers of the soul, but also of our physical well-being. As Proverbs says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."3
And wasn't envy the cause of Satan's downfall? He was envious of God and wanted to be God himself; and look at the unbelievable mess he has gotten us into—or rather, look at the incredible mess we've gotten ourselves into because we have followed the ways of Satan instead of the ways of God. And how many of the atrocities that are happening in today's world are caused by the envy and greed for control by certain men who claim themselves to be leaders when, in fact, they are destroyers!
Envy is a destroyer. It will destroy you and me, too, if we allow it to do so. Like all of God's instructions, it is not without good reason that his Word tells us to get rid of all envy, malice, jealousy and hatred.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if there is any envy, malice, jealousy, or hatred in my heart, please reveal it to me, and give me the courage and good sense to face it, to resolve it, and get rid of it. And please forgive me for it. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 2:1 (NIV).
2. Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999.
3. Proverbs 14:30 (NIV).