January 5, 2007
I hope you have enjoyed the daily Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our "Friday Friends." So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our first "Friday Friend", Rhonda Rhea.
“Do not envy others--it only leads to harm.” (Psalm 37:8, NLT)
Friend to Friend
I have a friend who looks good in absolutely everything she puts on. Argh! The girl could drape herself in the cover of her car and look classy enough for the fashion runway. If I draped myself in a car cover, I guarantee I would look more like a Buick. And I'll just go ahead and admit that I need to drop a few pounds off these fenders. My bumpers are a bit of a wreck, too.
Envy is such a dangerous thing. It throttles peace--and worse, it leads to anger, even rage. Psalm 37:8 says, "Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others--it only leads to harm." (NLT) The envious, angry person experiences painful harm personally. Proverbs tells us that, "…envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones." (AMP) Our own personal rottenness can be a total life-wrecker, but it's even more than just personal rottenness. That harmful, rotten disposition often spreads, spilling over onto family and friends.
How do we avoid bone-rotting envy and wrath? We replace them with love. 1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us that "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…" (NIV) In other words, love is the opposite of envy.
Anytime we catch ourselves envying, we can ask God to love the person we envy through us. He delights in answering that prayer. As he gives us love for the ones we're tempted to envy, we discover that love, just as 1 Corinthians teaches, always wants the very best for others. Instead of envying, love rejoices in their victories!
Rejoicing in victory - that’s the Jesus way! Yes, rejoicing in the victories of others…even if those others have exceptionally sleek fenders.
Oh Father, please show me every area of sneaky, rotten jealousy and envy that might be hiding in my heart. I’m depending on you to help me tear down those sinful, envious places by your power. Give me your amazing grace and please help me show that grace to others. May I, by your love, mature to the place where I can rejoice in every good thing that comes to those I meet, knowing that good things come from you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
Is there anyone who seems to have it all together in every aspect of her life? Is there someone who always seems to succeed in areas where you struggle? Are there times when you would find pleasure in seeing her fail?
Confess that sin of envy and ask the Lord to replace it with his love. Understand that He longs to answer that prayer.
Practice rejoicing for that person in her every success, and pray every day this week for God to bless her in new and special ways.
More from the Girls
As you’re praying daily for the success of the person you’re tempted to envy, don’t you just love it when you find God doing an incredible work in your own heart? You may actually find yourself wanting the very best for slender-fender girl. Who would’ve thought it? I just love it when our gracious God works like that!
For more on this topic, see Rhonda’s book, I’m Dreaming of Some White Chocolate
Girlfriends in God, Inc.