“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 13:40 (NIV)
In a kindergarten class a little boy was eager to tattletale on his classmates for their behavior. His wise teacher confronted him with the words: “Jimmy, just worry about yourself and you’ll be busy all day.”
Right about the time that we think we’ve put jealousy and envy behind us, we realize, even as adults, that we have not lost the capacity to be petty. Our childish ways are still operating as though on the kindergarten playground.
The Bible is in tune with our human frailty. Countless passages encourage us to put on the mind of Christ and to renew our methods of thinking. Look up! Our hope comes from looking in the direction of Heaven where our help comes from. By lowering our eyes to view the pits in the ground, we forget that God cares for us and provides for our needs. When we seek God, the focus turns from our weakness to His provision, to His mercy. He is eager to equip us so that we can do wonderful things to bless others. It is in the reaching out to others—not in the envying of them—that we are at peace.
PRAYER: May I be a cheerful giver, a compassionate listener, a faithful friend. Let me be the one who shows others that I know of your great love for them and for me. Teach me your ways, O Lord. Amen.
Alice J. Wisler is the author of five novels and one devotional on grief and loss, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache. Read all the reviews here.