⚠️ Envy is self-focused and self-righteous. It inserts you into the center of your world. It makes it all about you. It tells you that you deserve what you don’t deserve.
⚠️ Envy is expectant and demanding.
⚠️ Envy tells you that you are someone you aren’t and you are entitled to what is not rightfully yours.
⚠️ Envy cannot celebrate the blessing of another because it tells you that you are more deserving.
⚠️ Envy tells you that you have earned what you could never earn.
The world of envy no more mixes with the world of grace than oil does with water.
⚠️ Envy forgets who you are, forgets who God is, and is confused about what life is all about.
Yet, having said all of that, the fact is that all of us struggle with envy somehow, some way, and at some time. We’re jealous that the person next to us has achieved the financial success that we have never enjoyed. We wish our marriage was as happy as that of our friends at church. We wonder why we’ve been saddled with the job we have when that other guy has such a fulfilling career. We’re envious of the other person’s small group, which seems to be such a loving community. We wish that we could eat as much as that person does and still stay as slim as she is. The tall guy wishes he wasn’t so tall and the short guy would love to look down on people for a change. The curly-haired person covets straight hair and the straight-haired person envies the curls. The nerd envies the jock and the jock wishes he could get better grades.
Envy is universal because sin is. Envy has its roots in the selfishness of sin (see 2 Cor. 5:14–15). Envy is self-focused; because it’s self-focused, it’s entitled; because it’s entitled, it’s demanding; because it’s demanding, it tends to judge the goodness of God by whether he has delivered what you feel entitled to; and because it judges God on that basis, it leads you to question his goodness. Because you question God’s goodness, you won’t run to him for help. Envy is a spiritual disaster.
Grace reminds you that you deserve nothing, but it does not stop there—it confronts you with the truth that God is gloriously loving, gracious, and kind, that he lavishes on us things we could have never earned. Grace also reminds us that God is wise and he never gets a wrong address—he gives each of us exactly what he knows we need.