Listening to the speaker I heard nothing that he said. I can speak as well as he can, I thought. I have interesting stories that make good points. Why does he draw large crowds and I speak in abscurity? I don't wish him ill, but every time I see him speak I can't think of anything else, and it was difficult for me to rejoice in the fruit of his ministry. Envy crept into my heart and my obsession for what I did not have kept me from receiving any of the blessings God desired to give me.
Envy always has a negative impact. James says in 3:26 says, "For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." There are those who try to give a positive spin on envy as a motivator for better performance. "If I am envious of what someone has then I will work harder to achieve my desire." But envy never motivates people to achieve more, rather holds people in bondage to their feelings of inadequacy. Instead of striving for their own sucess, those who are filled with envy rationalize why life is unfair or why the other person doesn't deserve it.
Envy desires what someone else has and creates a hostile environment where others are an obstacle to their own success. In this kind of environment obsession blinds people from seeing their own weakness, that if remedied, could open doors for their success.
Love does not envy, the Aposlte Paul said, because envy is selfish and love selfless. Envy seeks exhalation as a replacement of some else's. It creates dissension because it is critical of the object of their envy and speaks disparagingly of them. Envy doesn't seek to imulate but rather seeks to usurp. Envy would rather destroy the success of others than to be content with their abilities and efforts.
Envy is not thankful for God's provision. An envious person allows biterness to color God's provision and instead of thankfulness, resentment fills his heart. Envious people don't see God's goodness but feels as if God is withholding something better. Envy sees God as an obstructionist to his happiness as he pours out happiness on others.
So how do we fight envy when it tempts to distract us from God's purpose for our lives.
1. Submit to the sovereign goodness of God. When we realize that God desires to pour out his goodness on us then we look for that goodness in the things he gives us.
2. Be thankful for the gifts God has given. Realize that the variety of gifts in the body means that your gift has a specific place in God's plan.
3. Realize that success is defined by God and not the world. We envy when we want more, because we have been told that more is better and bigger is greater. Follow Jesus and not the world.
4. Serve others. When we understand that God calls us to serve then we can put others needs before our own, even if it means they get the acalades.
5. Encourage others in their gifts and bless them with appreciation when they are faithful.
Envy is easy to fall prey to when your life takes a turn different then you expected. But when you seek to serve God, using your gifts wherever he leads you, then you can become content with His goodness and the world becomes a wonderous place. I'm just saying...