The Little Green Sin
“As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.” – Antisthenes
What I am about to say is not news. It is nothing you have managed to avoid for a lifetime. You have fallen prey to it many times, and it was experienced by countless others long before you and I were even thought of. This thing was dealt with before justice systems, gun control, or even electricity. Yes, jealousy, like other age-old feelings, is nothing new. Grandma has felt it, your siblings have felt it, the person you hold in highest esteem has, I’m sure, suffered it. And if you were honest, you would say that this feeling has visited you a time or ten in your life.
Childhood. Think back to that time someone else got the toy you wanted; that other kid got the solo in the Christmas pageant; so and so’s parents didn’t make him do chores while your parents did. And when you remember these or other instances when someone else was given an opportunity you wanted or had something you didn’t, you can recall that tight feeling in your heart—that jealousy. It raised the temperature of your blood until you couldn’t even stand that person anymore, and they may not have even done anything to you. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like you forgot every good thing they had ever done all because of a little jealousy in your heart.
But rest assured, you are not the only one who has experienced this heart-swelling feeling of envy. Like I said, Grandma felt it too. Covetousness is truly one of the worst situations to place yourself in. It interferes with your sleeping, eating, thinking, and even the way you treat the people around you. You might not think it is a big deal, but take a step back and think of the times you felt jealousy toward an individual. How did you deal with it? What actions did you take based on those feelings?
Now try and think of this in some other people’s lives. What attitudes did you see them develop, maybe even over a long period of being jealous? What path did their envy take them down? Of course I am inferring this subject with a little more extremity than just wanting someone else’s toy. This is the kind that can literally tear a person apart. But what would happen if you threw this emotion out the window and destroyed it before it destroyed you?
I urge you to change your perspective. Instead of being envious of others, try rejoicing with them. When they get a spot on the team or an A on their test, be supportive, not judgmental. Paul taught us, from the confines of a prison cell, to be content whether we have or have not, and also to rejoice. He even said it again. “Rejoice!” Try loving that person you envy. Love is bigger than the sin of envy. I Corinthians 13:4 simply reads, “Love does not envy…” (NKJV). If you are too busy judging or coveting what a person has, you have no time to love them.
We were all made for a specific purpose with such intention, and we have been called to live with that purpose burning in our hearts. But how can we burn with purpose when envy has already occupied the fire pit of our hearts? Talents and abilities will differ from person to person, but keep in mind there are things God has placed inside of you that others do not and cannot hold. The next time you start to feel these thoughts of jealousy, take a look inside and realize God has given you so many incredible attributes the world is needing you to use.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). No matter how many times you re-read these verses, that sixth element is not going to disappear. We often become numb to hearing the “big sins” preached against that we forget that the little foxes spoil the vines. Sin is sin, no matter the size or the subject. The scripture says “ALL evil things come from within, and defile a man….”
Jealousy is no exception to this. That greed you feel can truly defile you from the inside out. But you can cut it off before it has the chance to do so. You are not a prisoner to this feeling. You can overcome it just like those who came before you have. Put God back in the equation, not just casually either. Put Him first and the rest will all start to make sense, and that little jealous tug on your heart will soon transform into joy.
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is a graduate of Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.