Green with Envy
Sometimes I write blogs that never get posted. This is one of them. I have been frantically going since 4:00 am and even now I am hoping my daughter will stay asleep just five more minutes so I can finish this paragraph. And yet as I stop to re-read what I wrote back in September it is no coincidence that I came across this today. Because right now in this moment, this is exactly what I needed to be reminded of. That’s just the way the Spirit works.
Once again, another restless night was filled with many thoughts racing through my mind. I cannot help but constantly evaluate why I do not sleep well. Maybe the analyzing is part of it. And I’m sure that being 28 weeks pregnant played a role as well, but there must be more to it.
The thoughts of one night in particular may have shed new light on my unanswered question. Proverbs 14:30 kept repeating in my head: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” At initial glance you may wonder what in the world envy has to do with restlessness. I thought the same thing. My thoughts are not envious of another person so why was this verse circulating that night?
Then it occurred to me: envy may not necessarily involve another person. I quickly looked up synonyms for envy and found aspiring, craving, desiring, greedy, longing for, wishful and yearning. The antonyms? Comfortable, content, and pleased.
The light bulb came on.
Envy is being discontent with your current situation. It is an unhealthy longing for what is to come. We have been in the midst of change for well over a year, and I long for consistency and longevity in a location. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our bundle of joy and patience is easier said than done. Are any of these desires bad? No. However, the Bible does speak against envy and discontentment. The yearning for what is ahead in and of itself is not the problem. It is my attitude and outlook in the meantime that can easily be the downward slide to the envy of the anticipated.
The concept of envy and the negative effects really do not need to be dissected further. Let’s look at the first part of the verse: A heart at peace gives life to the body. Ahh, peace. Who doesn’t long for that?
Peace begins in the heart, in the core of who we are. Remember, everything is a heart issue. I turned to the concordance in my Bible to find a few passages on peace. It is no surprise to discover that many mentions of peace are in reference to God or Jesus. God is not a God of disorder but of peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The fruit of the Spirit is peace. It only makes sense that to experience peace, we must know God. We must have a relationship with his Son. And we must keep in step with the Spirit. Notice that these are all about time and connection. It is one thing to know of God. Anybody can believe in God. James tells us that even the demons believe there is one God. It is an entirely different experience knowing God.
Everything in this world is calling us to disorder, discontentment and noise. From the moment we wake up in the morning (for those of you who can sleep), we are bombarded with thoughts, desires, advertisements, emails, Facebook, work, life demands, and the list goes on. Stop and evaluate for a moment: how much of that is bringing peace? What percentage of our time is spent cultivating peace? Even as I typed the sentence I clicked over to check email and was compelled to follow a link. I wasn’t even at peace just finishing this paragraph!
It is no wonder that envy will reign in our hearts if we are not constantly going back to the source of peace. Envy, discontentment, cravings and yearnings rot the bones. But a heart at peace gives life. Let’s quit just trying to spend time with God each day. Let’s walk with him always. Staying connected to the source brings peace. And this peace leaves little room for envy.