I loved hearing this in church today.
The wise man gets it. “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” (Proverbs 14:30)
Why? Because it’s not just that we’re not satisfied; we’re not satisfiable. Ever since the beginning our fault-finding streak has been killing us. Even in the best of circumstances, we find a way to listen to the voices that point out, “So you can’t eat from that tree?” Listen to wisdom! Even if you lived in paradise with a perfect body and a perfect partner, eating nothing but organic food, with no injustice, or disease, or pain – you’d still find a way to be unsatisfied.
This is why envy is so idiotic.
You miss what God has done, because you’re so distracted with what he has not done. You miss who God has made you to be, because you’re so distracted with who he made someone else to be. I shared some of this a while back:
If you could ever thank God made for who he made you to be, you’d want to be you so badly you wouldn’t know what to do.
Chew on that.
Because what if the gifts of God really are stunning? Including yours.
What if He really doesn’t make mistakes? Including you.
What if He’s so infinite that every single one of His children is fashioned uniquely significant beyond our capacity to describe? Regardless of their age. Regardless of their qualifications.
What if He is so potent that His resources never become exhausted, and your potential is more weighty than you’ve realized? Perhaps His economy is not like ours. What if He doesn’t run out of money, or food … or talent?
What if His grace is so amazing that His mercy and kindness are able to swallow up your failures and darkness? What if this tree we call the Cross and this savior we call the Christ really have removed the only thing standing between you and the real you. Between life and real life.
If only you realized who God made you to be. You’d stop this whole envy thing. And you’d step out and be you.
I can’t always make myself stop envying. But I can make myself give thanks. And gratitude is a game-changer.
I dare you to pray this prayer: “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well.” (Psalm 139:14)