July 17, 2022
Read Proverbs 24:15-20
15 Wicked one, don’t wait secretly at the home of the righteous. Don’t destroy their dwelling. 16 The righteous may fall seven times but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble. 17 When your enemies fall, don’t rejoice. When they stumble, don’t let your heart be glad, 18 or the LORD will see it and be displeased, and he will turn his anger from them. 19 Don’t get fighting mad at evil people; don’t be envious of the wicked. 20 Indeed, there is no future for the evil; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Good morning! God is with us always!
One of our human frailties is envy. This starts from a very young age. We see something that someone else has and we want it for ourselves. I think about two children playing in a room. They each have toys with which to play, but suddenly one child wants what the other has and will promptly go and try to take the toy. We can all laugh and giggle at this scenario because they are young.
It seems that this tendency follows us into our lives as we age. Perhaps we learn that we can’t just take what we want from someone else, but the envy is still there burning within us. As an adult, what kinds of things do most of us envy: wealth, power, and prestige are often at the root of our envy. We might think, “well, if I had all of their . . . I could do great things.” Most of us don’t consider how those things were acquired and what we must do to get them. This is not to say that all earthly treasures come through or are maintained by evil means, but evil is hard at work among those who cherish “things”.
The funny thing is that God gives us all the gifts that we need to accomplish those great things we think that others have. It is not power, wealth, or prestige that strengthen us to do God’s work. No, it is surrendering ourselves to God’s love through which we gain divine power. Among and within the fellowship of Christ lie the ability to change the world. Do not be envious of others, use the gifts that you have been given.
1Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:1-4 NIV)
Finally, we must remember that there will be challenges along the way. What seemed like a great plan or idea, may produce an epic failure. God promises to be with us always. When we fail, we must get up (with God’s help) and try again. Many tireless saints have come and gone before us, yet the work of gathering all of God’s children is not done. Each day provides us with new opportunities to win souls to Christ. Go forth and bear fruit!
Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. Envy is a challenging obstacle for us. We see and desire what others have. Thank you for being patient with us as we work to understand that we should work to store treasures in heaven. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Thought for the day: God’s love, not my failure, defines me.
Let God help! Pastor Liz