A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible or find the following in your Bible:
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
It’s been said that, “Envy cannot read; therefore its will is that all books should be burned.” I think that’s a pretty spot-on description of envy. “If I can’t have it, no one should have it.”
I allowed envy to rot my bones over a long span of time. it was during the time when I wanted a child more than anything else in the world but I could not get pregnant. Not only was that a struggle for me, but I had also lost my grandfather, my mother, and my grandmother all within a 2-year period. So when I saw pregnant women shopping with their mothers, my intense jealousy would make me feel physically sick to my stomach.
What causes envy? Comparison. It’s looking at another person’s life and measuring it by your own. If you fall short, envy is born.
Two things can alleviate that kind of bone-rotting envy. One, trusting in the character and love of your God, and two, giving thanks for what you do have instead of lamenting what you do not. At the point where we are envious, we are really saying to all within earshot, “God does not love me enough to give me what He gave that person.” it’s not true, and it’s not a healthy mindset.
Instead of focusing on the things you want but don’t have, it helps to take time and list out all the wonderful things you do have—every gift, every blessing, every relationship. And then thank God for those things, one by one, and reiterate to Him that you trust He will bring everything to you that He has determined you need.
I used to keep an index card on my refrigerator that said, “If I need it, God will provide it. If I don’t have it, I must not need it.” When I remembered that declaration, all was well. Any time I forgot, I was susceptible to jealousy.
Having lived both realities — walking around with a peaceful heart, and walking around with rotting bones —I will choose the peaceful heart all day long. When the choice is in your control, it really doesn’t make sense to torment yourself with envy, does it?