The stirrings of envy - Hope 103.2

The stirrings of envy

By David ReayTuesday 19 Nov 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 73:1-5

1-5 No doubt about it! God is good-
    good to good people,good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it,
    missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way,
    looking up to the people
At the top,
    envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about,
    not a care in the whole wide world. (THE MESSAGE)

There is an old legend concerning a very saintly monk who lived in pious isolation. Satan and his agents tried everything to disturb his sublime serenity. Nothing worked. No seductive suggestions to do evil had any effect.

Then one day Satan himself tried a different approach. He went to the monk and whispered in his ear,”Your brother has just been made Archbishop of Canterbury”. That did it. That was the end of peace and piety and serenity. No bad thing had been said,merely a statement of fact. But envy was the weak spot.

Like the Psalmist,we can verbally assent to God’s goodness but miss out on enjoying it because we are too busy envying what others have got. Instead of embracing what we have,we regret what we have not.

And this is not the only mistake we make. We assume that those others we envy are sailing along without a care in the world. We begin to believe we are the only ones with problems. It is not true. We all bear certain burdens: no one is immune. So envy not only robs us of contentment but is also illogical. After all,why on earth would anyone want to be Archbishop of Canterbury!

David Reay