1 Kings 3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.” 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.
What happens when someone you know is blessed by God? Like me, you probably rejoice with them in the abundant kindness of God. But, what if they get what you have been praying for? What if they’re given that specific blessing that you yearn for. How do you respond? Often I respond with a smile on my face, yet inwardly I’m seething. How could God give them what I want and not give it to me? I don’t mind waiting for His timing, but if I have to wait, everyone else should too. How dare they get “it” when I’ve waited for years.
Envy is a very scary sin. I can be envious about big things (like marriage and children), but I can be just as envious about little things (like cds and dvds). I was very convicted by the Scripture I posted above. Both women wanted the child. But, one was envious. She would rather the baby be killed, thus securing that neither would have a child, than for the other woman to have a blessing that she did not. Ouch! How often have I wished that someone would not have “that” blessing. How often have I wished that I could have it too. It’s almost like the blessing makes me feel better about myself. And if someone has something I do not, than I’m not as good as that person. That suspiciously smells like pride. In my envy I am desiring to be better than the other person. I’ve found this quote very helpful…
“What an envier wants is not, first of all, what another has; what an envier wants is for another not to have it…The envier has empty hands and therefore wants to empty the hands of the envied. Envy, moreover, carries overtones of personal resentment; an envier resents not only somebody else’s blessing but also the one who has been blessed” (Cornelius Plantinga).
Seeing the ugliness of my envy can be disheartening. It not only affects my peace, my trust in God, my joy, my obedience, and my relationships; but to look it in the eye and see it’s true affect in your soul, is a daunting task. BUT, look at it we must. I cannot change unless I’m aware of the problem. And once I am aware, I have an advocate with the Father. I have a Father who gives me grace (and the power to change), when I humble myself, repent, and cry out for His help. The ugliness of my envy give me hope. It is so bad, that only God can change it. And He promises (Rom 1:16, 1 Peter 1:3-5) to be near me and give me power when I ask. That my friends, makes even the scariest sin conquerable! O What Grace! O What A Savior!