Selected Sunday Scriptures- #101 An Enduring Ailment

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming;
    but who can stand before jealousy?

(Proverbs 27:4)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

(James 3:13-16)

For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?

(1 Cor 3:3)

I have a problem with envy. It has proven a most persistent sin to eliminate from my life. Not that it has the most hold on me, but it is persistent all the same. That is not to say that I haven’t made improvements- I have. Yet I know I have a long way to go. It is an easy thing to say “count your blessings.” But it is another entirely to actually focus on what you have, and be thankful for it, rather than to look on that which is enjoyed by others.

Jesus called out the Pharisees for cleaning the outside of their bodies, while ignoring their hearts in matters of purification. I need to spend more time on that myself. As it is, I know that envy is hurting my efforts to live a spiritual life. I will ask of God the same thing that King David asked:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right spirit within me.

(Psalm 51:10)


Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures, Sin, Temptation

3 responses to “Selected Sunday Scriptures- #101 An Enduring Ailment

  1. DJ

    Have you found coping methods other then counting your blessings?

  2. DJ,

    Having a more thankful attitude helps. Also, I try to focus on the future- on eternity. I remind myself that whatever I do acquire in this life, however much, however little, I cannot take with me. And neither can anyone else. Instead, I should be focused on the main prize- on winning the race rather than on lesser concerns.

    All easier said than done, of course.

  3. Michael Kozaki

    For what it’s worth, I’ve found every vice I have ever had to be a lie when looked at closely. Envy must be the most divorced from reality. Even rich and famous people’s lives are painfully hard when looked at closely. Suicides and drugs to stop the pain? Not uncommon. One’s relationships are often damaged by the very success everyone else is in envy of. So basically, if I am envious of you, I’ve created a lie about you in my own head.

    And envy doesn’t last very long, anyway. Wait long enough by the edge of the river, and you will see the body of the person you were so envious about come floating by. That guy who cops my girl? He probably saved me from disaster.

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