Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:17-18
How are you doing in the midst of your marriage problems? Are you living a peaceful life and acting Christ-like in the midst of the storm of your separation or divorce? Are you trying to walk in humility and sowing peace wherever you go? Are you envious of your spouse or someone else in their life? Are you battling envy by possibly envying someone at your employment? Let’s look at what the Bible says about envy in James:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-17
What is the meaning of envy? The American College Dictionary says: It is a feeling of discontentment or feeling ill will at seeing another’s superiority, advantages or success; desire for some advantage possessed by another; and an object of envious feeling. How many people do you know, or standers, who say they or their spouse have had envy or selfish ambitions?
Let me share a warning with you. Do not be envious of your spouse or anyone else regardless of how happy or successful they appear to be right now. You may battle anger or jealousy with your spouse even when they appear to have no shame or guilt, but they are prideful. Let me share a Psalm that had many words leaping off the page to me that I knew I had to share with you.
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. Psalm 73:1-6
The reason that I am sharing this with you is that I believe you should examine your own heart. Are you walking in humility, being considerate in all things, showing mercy, knowing that being a peacemaker will reap righteousness? That sounds great, but in reality are you really upset, angry, jealous and harboring bitter envy regarding your spouse and how they are living, spending money on someone else, going on vacations that you both dreamed about and often not providing for their own children?
God knows your heart and does understand. I hope tonight you will have a private conversation with the Lord, confessing your pain, your struggles, your feelings and allow Him to touch and remove all that junk out of your heart. He did it for me and He can do it for you. Oh, yes, you may be tested or have something happen suddenly and your emotions may rise up, but call on the Holy Spirit to calm your nerves and quiet your tongue as He gives you His divine wisdom and instructions on how to deal with each problem as it happens.
You must never forget why you are standing in the gap for your beloved spouse or prodigal teenager or young adult who has a calloused, hardened heart. You are praying for their eternal destiny. Unless God touches and changes their heart and life there will be consequences that you and I don’t even want to think about. God searches their heart and rewards a man according to their conduct and what his deeds deserve. May you and I pray for God’s mercy and grace for all our loved ones who will not surrender their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Psalm 73:7-9
As part of your devotions, please read all of Psalm 73. Look up all the scriptures with envy in your Bible Concordance. My prayer for you is to totally trust in the Lord every day. Choose to walk in faith with a pure heart, expecting the Lord to be your Defender and allowing Him to take revenge at His perfect timing.
Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. Proverbs 24:1-2
In conclusion, The Blackaby Study Bible comments on envy in Proverbs 24:1-2 which says: Envy leads to dissatisfaction with our own situation. We must realize that what we envy in the wicked comes with serious consequences and only takes us farther away from God and His blessings.
Have you been envying your spouse? Right now, cry out to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you, as you praise Him that He is your refuge, holding your right hand, guiding you with His divine counsel. Never forget that the Lord wants the best for you, your husband or wife and children. Wait on the Lord’s perfect timing to touch and transform your spouse’s heart and life.
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.