One of the major killers of relationships and friendships in our days is envy and jealousy. Envy by definition is that feeling of discontment or resentful longing that is aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. You wish to have what someone owns and can do anything to have it by all means-even if it will be taking it by force. Envy is an unhealthy emotion that prevents us from moving forward, and fixates someone on what others have instead of what they’ve. It’s a deep down desire that demands for what belongs to someone else. People who don’t get satisfaction in what they are, and what they do, are by nature envious and jealous. Envy as an emotional spirit eats up many people and has crippled others from enjoying their God given rights as children of God. It’s said that most women are in a rat race to be someone else-and not the person God wanted them to be. They admire others more that themselves. The bible says we should love our neighbors, just as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31) When I looked at this word deeply sometime back,I realized God’s command is we be self-loving first, before extending the same love to others. You cannot extend love to someone if you hate yourself. Majority of people don’t look at themselves with love for self but always yearning to be like the person they see in the media- or that model –or that news anchor and etc. Envy has a way of making someone die early because of stress and desire to achieve what someone else has achieved, regardless of the path the other person took to get there. You want to follow someone’s path, yet ignore that in this life, everyone has his own race to run and a goal to meet-that was pre-ordained by God, since the foundation of the world. Beloved, God has an assignment for all of us, whenever we step on this earth.
It may not be like John’s assignment, and John’s assignment might never be like Judy’s. We all have a unique ability that we got from above with our name tags on them. My question is, “Why feel bad about what someone else has a achieved, instead of looking to God for help, to achieve your goals too, as he assigned it to you?
I will never forget the dream I had some time back, of someone I know and so close to me In this dream, I heard a voice telling me loudly “Tell John (not his real name), he will not live to enjoy his birthday, if he doesn’t drop envious thoughts from him- and comparing himself with others. I woke up from that dream and prayed earnestly for John that God may spare his life- because I knew he was doing all this in ignorance. The funny thing is, the first person to call me in the morning was John, and immediately I saw his call, to my surprise, I remembered the dream. How God organizes things amazes me. The first thing I asked him was,” please tell me, are you among those people who are so mad at what others have or feel pained by other people’s success? He said Yes, and I told him to stop that habit because it’s not in the will of God for us to compare ourselves with others-nor wish to be like someone else. As I talked to him, He told me his birthday was 24th August of that same month-yet my dream was like 20th August. When I went to church that day for prayer, I tell you I prayed as though it was my life at stake. I repented on his behalf and asked God to sustain his life and forgive him for that sin of envy. I made it clear to him to stop it too. I was so grateful to God when after 24th August, he spared his life and upto now, John is alive and doing well.
It’s so funny that John was comparing himself with his friends who were with him at Campus and feeling mean spirited because they’ve succeeded, yet him he was still jobless 2 yrs later. It may look legitimate to us to think and feel bad when we see other people prosper and we are still where they left us, but to God, it causes concern in heaven as it had happened on John’s case. God’s word says we should rejoice with those who rejoice but Instead of rejoicing with his friends, John was bitter, resentful and angry at God for blessing them and not him.
Whenever envious people think, their National anthem is always on “Me and I”. They never celebrate others but always look for opportunities to put others down, for their benefit. They rarely see any other person worthy any benefit
There is no better person to describe envy in the scripture as Absalom. When you get to hear about Absalom for the first time, you get attracted to him from the word go. The bible says “in israel there was none to be so much praised as absalom for his beauty! When the bible calls a man Beautiful, for sure he must have been beautiful. The bible continues to say this about Absolom,” From the sole of his feet to the crown of his head, there was no blemish in him (2nd Samuel 14:25 ). What do you think of such a man when you hear such description of him. As if that was not enough, the bible has this to say about his hair,” Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. 2 Samuel 14:25-27.
Nowadays people are infatuated with Brazilian hair but during those days, it was Absolom’s hair that was the talk of town. He earned revenue from it annually but unfortunately, deep down this “BEAUTIFUL” man, lied a deep seated envious spirit. He was envious of his father position as king and went ahead to device ways towards taking it for himself. It’s written “He rose up early, stood beside the gate, and whenever a man who had a controversy came to king David for judgment, he could stand on the way at the gate, and call him and ask, which city do you come from? and when he replied ,your servant is from the tribes of Israel, Absalom would say to him, See, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear you. Absalom said moreover, “OH that i were made judge in the land, that every man which has any suit or cause might come to me, and i would do him justice”! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.(2nd Samuel 15:2-6).
Absalom with his envy, stole the hearts of the people of Israel. Some people may call it being politically smart or outsmarting his father David but the reality is, most envious and jealous people are always cunning in nature and for sure, they even look like angels to their targets. The angel people were seeing in Absolom is a man who was deeply envious of his father.
When talking to the church of his day, the Apostle James warns “where envying and is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:16). He continues ” if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.(James 3:14-15).In Proverbs 27:4, we are asked, “wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous but who can stand before envy? The wicked, Victor Hugo quotes,” envy and hate;-why,because it their way of admiring.. What a sad quote about Envy. Winston Churchil, when describing Socialism defined it as a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. If envy is part of you because you are socialist, then I beg you drop socialism from your vocabulary. Many times in our lives, the devil will give you an opportunity to be envious of other people. Maybe it’s that junior staff who has been promoted to that higher office, or a colleague who has no papers who is given the mantle to lead you. In such moments, it’s easy to be jealous and envious but as a believer, trust in God more and rejoice with your friend. Always remember you path is different from your friend’s path. Even though Absalom stole people’s hearts with his cunning nature and envious spirit, God, who knows the hearts of men and women could not allow it. He died before he realized his dream of leading Israel, even though he was in a better position to lead, if he followed the right channels and applied patience. That’s what envy and jealousy leads to. It will leads to death.
My question to us all is this,” do you often encounter people who simply don’t know how to be happy for others?. Do you have some haters in your life that you would like to gain some perspective on? Whenever you meet such people, what do you tell them? If you happen to know any relative with such a spirit, stop him in his tracks and talk to him against that evil heart. Such people need us more. They need us to be straight to them and tell them directly to be contented with what God has graced them with, and without comparing themselves to others.
Let us always learn to be contented with what we have and be aware that the God who created us, has plans for us as well as the people we are jealous about. He says “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. God plans for us are always good and for us-so why envy others. Everything happens because of him and unless we settle with the little we have now, we will not reach our goals for the more that we desire in another person. It might lead to dearth as it did for this beautiful man called Absalom. In God’s timing, all things will work out for your good. God bless you
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