Verse 30: “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”
I’ve been in the work force 24 years. In that time I’ve seen the pay scales raise, fall, and rise again. I’ve worked in management a good part of those years and during those years, I've received raises and I have given raises. One of the unwritten and sometimes written rules is to never discuss your salaries. Even among adults, we still have the same deficiency we’ve had since childhood. We want what they have. When we were toddlers, you could see our real nature uncensored. One toddler is 100% content playing with one toy and all of a sudden, another toddler has a toy that they don’t. The toy that pacified them is thrown to the floor as they wobble over to the other child and snatch their toy. If the other toddler goes and picks up the abandoned toy, all of a sudden, the abandoned toy has the greatest value. We’ve seen this in children and we recognize it as natural for a toddler. Yes, we usually outgrow the blatant part, but only spiritual maturity will truly change it. Outside of being spiritually mature, all we do is learn how to mask it. Today we see the same toddlers in the work force, in our families and even in the church. In the church and elsewhere we see envy of others gifts, talents, etc. They may have grown up on the outside, but many are still the same toddler that can never be content with what they have. They can get a perfectly appropriate car that they’re content with… that is until their neighbor drives up with a newer or better one. All of a sudden, they look back at their car with discontentment. I have seen people do this with cars, jobs, homes, and even spouses. That’s right. It happens all the time. A husband or wife will look at someone else’s spouse, then look back at their own with discontent - even when their spouse is loyal and committed. We have painted a pretty negative picture of this person mentioned in the latter part of today’s “gold nugget”, “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” I have seen this person consumed with envy and it is not a pretty sight. The scripture describes it well as “rottenness to the bones.” As far as the rest of us that don’t fall in this category, don’t be so fast to dismiss this application for you. Even for those that have matured spiritually and aren’t just masking their envy - know this, the bible deals with this issue repeatedly and though we may have matured, we may need more maturing still. Take a look at yourself closely. You may have some toddler in you yet.
Lord, the truth is, we all have some room for growth when it comes to envying others. Help us today to be content with what is appropriate and have a “sound heart that is life to the body and not rottenness in our bones.” Amen
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