Friday, June 26, 2009

Harmful to Your Health

Pr 14:30 ¶ A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.

Doctors pretty well agree that taking care of yourself before you get sick is better than having to go to a doctor because you made yourself sick. And science has proved that stress actually lowers your body's ability to fight off disease.

An envious person will always suffer stress, because he'll always see someone who has something he wants. In the church, it could be a position of leadership that the envious person feels he should have. My own observations confirm that handing positions to these people in order to placate them is like handing territory to Adolf Hitler. After a while, he always wants more. Eventually, the person's ever-growing envy pushes him into positions he cannot handle, or it reaches the point that people are willing to fight him in order to keep him from getting more.

Job's friend, Eliphaz the Temanite, had observed that "... wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one." Job 5:2 In addition to health problems, envy can push a person into foolish actions that get him into trouble.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is "Envy"?

When the King James Version was translated in 1611, the translators used the word "jealousy" to describe a person who has something, but is fearful that someone else will take it away. Surprisingly, words, like "jealous" and "jealousy" are usually used to describe God. He has us, but He is afraid that He will lose us to something else.

However, God's Word gives far more attention to "envy" than it does to jealousy. The King James translators used "envy" to refer to a person who does not have something, but feels that he should have it. The envious person often regards himself as the victim of the person who has something. And God's Word describes envy as a more dangerous trait than jealousy.

Psychologists use these same two definitions to describe jealousy and envy. Envy carries two victims at a time: the person who is envious, and the person who is being envied. We'll be going into a study of how to deal with envy from both directions.