“Isaac had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him.” “And King Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us.’” (Genesis 26:14 & 16)
Envy is a subtly devastating sin. Envy caused Isaac to flee for his life. But envy is even worse for the one being envious. Isaac was able to move on and continue to flourish. I am willing to bet those who were envious of Isaac spent the rest of their lives living in the pit of their own anger and self-loathing. Envy is not something as titillating sexual sins, but can be every bit as destructive. Envy rots one’s self-worth and personal dignity. It is an invisible crippler. But there is a cure.
The cure for the dreaded disease of envy is faith in a kingdom beyond this world. If I believed that I must “go for the gusto” because when I die, I become nothing more than dust, then I want as much as I can get from this world. Any pain or inconvenience will provide pangs of envy. With no way to relieve them, they will continue to fester and grow, until they totally take over the person’s mind and heart.
The Good News of the Gospel is that we have the kingdom of God that continues for all eternity. Even better, we hold an invitation to the kingdom of God. We haven’t earned it, but is freely given by our Triune God. In eternal time, this world is but a fraction of a second. In the greater realm of eternity, who cares about who has more than someone else? IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!
So, when you see a family member rubbing it in a little bit, that they are going on a vacation you can only dream of taking? Remember, “I just doesn’t matter.” When you were made to feel somehow less than, because you don’t drive a luxury car, “It just doesn’t matter.” When you look back and wish you had made decisions that allowed you to own homes up north in the summer, down south in the winter and two others just because you can, say, “It just doesn’t matter.”
Today, think about the things and people you envy. How has envy manipulated your life? What desires have been left unfulfilled? We are so much more than these earthly things. We are eternal beings and the people to be envied are those who live for the God who brings the kingdom of God. Wipe envy out of your heart and soul, because envy “just doesn’t matter!”