Preface- Envy (according to my old thesaurus): jealousy, resentment, grudge, begrudging, heartburn, green-eyed monster, discontentment, dissatisfaction, rivalry, cupidity, covetousness, desire, longing, wanting, wishing for, yearning or hankering after, pining for, to eye greedily, lust after.

I was recently struck by the correlation between envy and confusion.  It seems, though I have only lived 28 years, that it’s the teenage years that are the most confusing.  I don’t have the Bible memorized, but I am pretty sure that no where in the Bible does it say that the teenage years are suppose to be years of rebellion, confusion, agony, misery for the teenager or their parent.  I wonder if there is so much confusion in this age group because the devil knows that if he can get them to be envious, he can confuse them, and if he can confuse them, he can thwart their destiny and thus pervert an entire generation.

James 3:16 says, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

I believe our society subconsciously runs on envy and selfish ambition.  We are constantly reminded about what we don’t have.  If our energy for what we do is simply “envy energy”, then the results we obtain, will not include satisfaction, happiness, or integrity.

We live in a society and culture of confusion and I think if we could eliminate envy, it’s possible we could end a lot of confusion.  Envy is this:  You have your eye on something or someone that you shouldn’t.  You are focusing on something other than the goal and we all know your body, actions, feelings, emotions follow towards what you are focusing on.  It’s hard to drive straight when you have your head cranked over to the side trying to look at something more interesting than the road you are on.

What does envy look like?  Envy is the girl who is secretly irritated when her friend gets married before her. Envy is when you are tired of listening to how so-and-so got such-and-such before you.  Envy is the rolling of the eyes when someone got an “A” and you got a “C”.  Envy is like a infestation of rats into your foundation-the longer it’s there, the more it takes over and the harder it is to get rid of it.  Envy isn’t an event, a quick thought.  Envy is a path.  It’s a path that will lead you to death-death of friendships, death of joy, death of contentment, death of your smile, death of your integrity.  There is good news though.  Hebrews 12:29 talks about how our God is an all-consuming fire.  Which means, He can take on an infestation of rats, and exterminate them, once and for all.

I think of the story in the Bible where the prodigal son comes home and his brother is mad that the dad killed the fatted calf and gave the wayward boy some clothes and shoes.  He’s mad!  He is also confused.  His envy blinded him to the obvious-Dad has more than enough for everyone and since he loves his boys, he wants to give them the best.  Including the one that was gone spending his dough.

I wish my house was like their’s. I wish I could shop where she shops.  I hate my car-I want a new one like his.  I want to be married like her.  I want hair like him/her.  I wish I had gone to school for that. I want more money.  Why can’t I have more money?  I wish I had gone to that school.  Why am I so short?  Why am I so tall?  Why did God put me here when he could have put me there?  I want her job.  I want his position.  I can’t stand her/him (you won’t say why you can’t stand her/him but it probably has to do with something she/he has that you want). I am sure there are other sins that could be coupled with envy at the same time (pride, selfishness, greed, materialism, covetousness) but to make it simple, I am just using the word Envy.

The previous paragraph are statements we make when we don’t know how good God is.  We subconsciously resent HIM for making us a certain way, for having a certain timing, for giving us certain things and not other things.

AND WE WONDER WHY WE DON’T KNOW where we are going, what we are doing, who we are!  We run around purpose-less but it’s all because we have our eyes on the wrong things-we get no where because we are chasing all these things that don’t belong to us-nor should they.  We can’t hear God’s voice because we are too busy whining (subconsciously).

Contentment with joy is godly gain.  To be satisfied with what you have is true life.  God is good.  His plans are good.  He honors faith, not envy.  He smiles when we thank Him for what we have, not what we selfishly desire so we can impress our friends.

When envy is gone, clarity and passion for living a full life become reality.  Thank God for what you have.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, even when they have what you wish you could have.

God is gooder than you think.  He really does love you.  Try focusing on Him and see what happens.