Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is Power In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
James 3:14-16 – But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (NIV)
The reality is that there is a kind of green-eyed monster of envy in the world, which is not self-sacrificing, but rather self-serving and filled with self-motivation.
Envy is evident when we want what others have, and it becomes complicated when pride rears its ugly head. It can destroy friendships, employment associations, and even family relationships. It is revealed when people look on a situation and don't understand the depths of it. Here's how it progresses.
When someone is given the gift of compassion from above, they are sometimes compelled to give care and assistance to a person in need. This is a very good thing and something heaven is proud of. Yet, within some people looking on, who do not understand why the giver has not done something similar for them, an envious feeling grows. It is often probable that the onlookers have much more than the person in need, but that matters little. Envy is not a heavenly thing and does not stop to consider this fact. It starts to cause resentment, gossip, and a need for revenge. Does God approve of such motives?
The next often-tried, logical step for such onlookers is to surround themselves with people who will support them in their perceived injustice. Thus, they begin to gossip and tell all manner of tales about the needy person, in order to persuade their supporters that they have been treated unfairly. This can sometimes make the giver feel that perhaps they should not have been generous in the first place. In other extreme cases, the envious persons, the ones with the green-eyed monster sitting on their shoulders, will try to get what the needy person has obtained by any means available.
What must the heavenly Father think of this? God was the One Who prompted the giver to be generous in the first place, and that was a very good thing, not only for the needy person, but also for the giver. Many of us believe that good deeds in this world go before us and are saved for us in heaven. Prayer can eliminate the need to feel envious. If we ask our heavenly Father to make us generous of heart ourselves and not fall into the temptation to destroy or reverse the good act, He will surely help us to replace the envy with good thoughts and even a generous spirit of our own.
Prayer: Jesus, You were meek and humble of heart. You are the most generous of all, for You came here and sacrificed Your life in order to share heaven with us. Please take the promptings of the evil one away and replace them with the goodness that is like Yours in wishing our brothers and sisters only the very best in their lives. Amen.