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Intersection of Life and Faith

How Does Envy “Rot the Bones” According to Proverbs 14?

Melissa Kruger

The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety. 

Yeah, this notion that envy rots the bones is a really interesting one, and I think it is a good picture of how envy, it just steals and it just takes life. It seems to promise, "If I could just get that one thing I desire, I'd be content." Whatever it may be today. I think we all have something in our life that we say, "If I could just have a vacation, if I could just find a husband, if I could just have a baby, if I could just get that job promotion at work." All of us have this, "If only, then my life would be satisfied." But the reality is, I think all of us have faced this, we finally get that item and then we find out we're still longing for something else.

The reality is envy is a sin problem in our hearts, not the circumstance that we're just facing. If we don't stop that pattern of envy in our hearts and really fight it at its root, we're going to just move from envying something today to something else tomorrow, and it's just going to rot away our joy. So no matter what stage of life we're in, we're going to be robbed of joy.

I told a story of some children, we were all at the park one day, and the kids were all gathered around. Some of the older ones said, "Can we get to play outside of the fence?" And the moms all decide, "No, we can't do that today. We're going to stay in the fence because it's safer for the young kids." Well rather than enjoy the playground, these older children went over to the fence and stared and looked at the open field that they weren't allowed playing. So they missed the swing sets, the slides, the sandbox, they missed everything that had been designed for their amusement, because they were so busy staring at what they couldn't have. I think that's an image of how envy rots our bones. We miss out on the life given to us because we're so busy looking at the life we don't have.

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