I have to admit that I like the “Got Milk?” advertisements in billboards and magazines. Of course, the ad campaign has spawned so many copy cat ads, even to the point where I’ve seen “Got Jesus?” bumper stickers. Most of the time the ads point to things that we would want to have in our lives. My title this morning points to something that we don’t want. To the question: “Got Envy?” we definitely want to answer “No”. Let’s read Proverbs 14:30-35
A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. 31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. 32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. 35 The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame.
Verse 30 says that envy is rottenness to the bones. I think that imagery hits the nail right on the head. There was a period of time in my life where envy was strong in me. And I can testify that it is rottenness. It eats away at the structure of your life. It seeps its way into every avenue of life, not only the financial part of our life. People can be envious of money and possessions but also of families, spouses, athletic talent…I suppose even pets…though that might be a bit of a stretch. Envy is truly a “green eyed” monster that seeks to destroy all those it can affect.
So, what the answer? The answer is found in 1 Timothy 6:6: “Now, godliness with contentment is great gain.” When we are following God and when we are content with what we have, a contentment that comes from Him, we will have great gain. We will be able to defeat the monster of envy. Don’t try to just remove envy from your life…that won’t work. Rather, replace the envy with something else, godliness plus contentment. That will work every time.