The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build. –Margaret Thatcher
As a generation, we are obsessed with purpose. Our hope, and perhaps our expectation, is that the day after we graduate from college we will set out down the road of a clearly defined calling, using our gifts effectively and building on our passions.
Instead, we find that the road is neither straight nor clean, but is filled with obstacles and switchbacks that bring more questions than answers. Somewhere along the way, we glance to the runner on our left and toss a look to the sprinter down the road.
How did he get that job? I can do that as well as her. Why did that opportunity not come to me? I want to be the next _______________.
We find ourselves drifting into someone else’s story, wishing their calling or their success was ours.
What Envy Does
Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
If we want to grasp the fullness of that statement, we need a little context. Bones were a reference to the whole body, the fullness of life. To say that envy rots the bones is to say that it breaks down and destroys the whole self. It tears life apart.
Beyond that, the word used for bones in this particular verse comes from the Hebrew word meaning “where the strength is.” Bones provide structure, stability, power. Envy infects and decays that strength like an infectious disease.
As with anything that opposes life, it is deceitful. It keeps us staring at others, resenting our apparent weaknesses, but meanwhile, it is literally boring a hole into our own strengths, ripping apart the meaningful stories we were created for. Continue reading at RELEVANT Magazine...