November 13

Written by Bill Grandi on November 13th, 2020

I’ve always had trouble with two words. I’ve heard them used interchangeably, which in my mind is a little much. I know they can be kissing cousins. I know if allowed the one can morph into the other one (and that becomes ugly). I also know they are both listed as sins of the flesh in Galatians 5. What two words?

ENVY and JEALOUSY

Like I said, I know they can both be wrong. In my mind, envy is “slightly” bad.  But it can morph into jealousy which is really bad.

For example, growing up I excelled in athletics. My brother excelled in music. His voice was and is phenomenal. (I actually have two brothers who can sing. The youngest sings more of a high church/”trained-voice” style. The other one more contemporary. It is the latter one [Rob] I’m writing about). As I got older and my body would not cooperate with me like it used to, I began to realize my brother’s singing was going to last him longer and take him farther than my sports were. I can’t sing so I “envy” his ability. I’m proud of my brother. I relish bragging on him. Do I wish I could sing? Of course.  But is it giving me heartburn I can’t and making me resent him? Absolutely not.  I even wonder what if I could sing. Would I give credit to God for that ability?

Bare bones: envy is a sign of discontent. “I wish I could sing.” That makes it a sin because I am not accepting who God made me to be or the lot I find myself in. Acceptance of who I am and who I’ve been made to be is essential. And so, while envy is not as “bad” as jealousy, it is still a work of the flesh and damaging to my heart. And a sin.

“Father, help me to check my heart and its desires. Help me to be content with whom you made me to be.”

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Wow! Food for thought!

  2. I never thought about the two of these being different, but you’ve explained it so well here, Bill. We shouldn’t entertain either one, and ask God’s forgiveness when we do.
    Blessings!