by Rev. Tom Gray
You’ve heard the saying “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (Actually, the Bible words it differently.) The root of evil that leads to so much more is envy. Money is just one aspect of envy. If someone is healthy when we’re sick, it’s easy to wallow in envy.
It is so easy to look at someone else’s circumstances and believe that they are better off than you. What we don’t see is the truth of their circumstances. Maybe their house is bigger and their car is fancier and newer than what we’ve got. But they may be deeply unhappy and overwhelmed with debt. Or, if they are happy with what they have, how does it make us happier or better to resent it?
It’s always a mistake to gauge happiness on what we have or don’t have. The sense of well-being that comes from a heart always thankful to God is powerful. If our foundation is there, we’ll be less likely to be caught up in the emotional and spiritual upheavals caused by envy.
The Bible records the first consequence of envy in the story of Cain and Abel:
The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Genesis 4:4, 5
That story ended in a brother’s death. Envy and jealousy are deadly for our souls. The age old phrase “count your blessings” is the healthy response.