Have you ever opened your closet full of clothes and thought, “I have nothing to wear” or opened your overstocked refrigerator thinking, “There’s nothing to eat”?
Man has an amazing propensity to stand in the midst of lavish blessing and lament that he is poor and needy. How does this happen? In a word, envy…but it starts with forgetfulness.
Envy forgets blessing, and in forgetting blessing assumes poverty, and in assuming poverty gives way to hunger, and this feeling of hunger tempts us to look to and long for what simply will not satisfy.
I confess to being guilty of envy in the past when seeing someone driving a luxury car, hearing about a friend’s vacation plans or learning of yet another accolade and raise given to a coworker. In fact, we all fall victim to this particular demon at times in our lives.
You’re probably thinking, “Thanks for that encouraging word today, Pastor!” Well, let me try to encourage you as we struggle with the reality that is envy. I’ve found that there is only one way to overcome this tendency and that is to remember what you have.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I would encourage you to sit down and literally count your blessings. Inventory everything you have; you’ll be surprised how quickly that list begins to build.
Think about all the people who care about you and serve you in some way. Analyze all the ways in which God’s grace makes your life comfortable, enjoyable and healthy.
If you look at life with a humble and thankful heart, you’ll very quickly remember that you are one who has been unfairly showered with blessing.
The most undeserved blessing, of course, is the gift of faith in God. Our Savior had it all, but was willing to forsake it all for you and me.
Envy is real, but it’s a struggle that we don’t have to face alone. The sacrifice of Christ provides us with right here, right now grace: rescuing, restoring, empowering, forgiving and transforming grace.
I love seeing that grace at work in Asaph’s heart as Psalm 73 progresses. He begins with, “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (v. 3). But by the end, grace has rescued and transformed him, resulting in contentment: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (v. 25)
When you are satisfied with the Giver, because you have found in Him the life you were designed for, you are freed from the ravenous quest for satisfaction that is the discouraging existence of so many people. Our envious hearts will rest only when they have found satisfaction in him.
Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. For information, visit Fellowship’s website www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.com.