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Daily Devotionals

Day 57 – Issue 41

todayMay 1, 2015 3

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Be Still Know

Proverbs 23.17-18 NLT

‘Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.’

Here the writer tells us that we shouldn’t envy sinners, but the tenth commandment is much wider than that. It tells us that we shouldn’t envy at all. The last commandment tells us that we shouldn’t covet our neighbour’s house, wife, servant, ox, donkey or anything else that they own. We may admire and appreciate everything about our neighbour’s life but, when it turns to envy, the rot has set in.

Envy is a potential problem for all of us because it has the ability to creep up on us slowly and subtly. It doesn’t announce itself with a fanfare, but slowly worms its way into our thinking. We see our neighbour’s beautiful house, lovely family and fabulous garden and start to wish that all those things were ours. After a while, we start to resent the fact that our neighbour has all those things and, through no fault of our own, we don’t. Surely we deserve just as much as our neighbour, and indeed probably more? I could continue this journey but I’ve said enough to make it clear that envy has the ability to be incredibly destructive. It can quickly and easily rob us of our peace and dominate our lives.

The writer of the Proverbs has the answer. He tells us to look up and to look forward. Firstly, look up to God. Remember that everything that we own is a gift. We have no right to expect anything from him and so we should spend our time fearing him and putting him at the centre of our lives. And, secondly, we should look forward knowing that there is a rich reward for anyone who trusts God. Jesus was very straightforward about the fact that there would be amazing rewards for those who followed him. He told his disciples, “I assure you that everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and property – along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.” (Mark 10.29-30).

Envy only ever has the ability to rob us of life, so it is important to have a strategy to confront it. So remember, when you are tempted to be envious, and we all will be, look up and look forward.

Question: When were you last envious and why? How did you respond?

Prayer: Lord God, thank you that you are always seeking to protect me from those thoughts which could spoil my life. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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