• billcohen33

Envy

This post is in response to a question from a brother in Kenya.

Why are some people who don't know Christ (unbelievers) more blessed than believers?

This question assumes that everyone has the same definition of blessed,“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Lk 12:15 While some people in this world might think the outward trappings of wealth are examples of being blessed, God disagrees,“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye can not serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:24 &“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Eph 1:3 So, it seems God distinguishes between the blessings we think we see in this life, which satisfy the wants of the flesh,“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1 Cor 3:3 &“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.” Prov 23:17 and the blessings of the next life, which are of the spirit. He even asks us to treasure the spiritual blessings we accumulate in heaven instead of our worldly possessions,“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 6:20-21 He does this so we can keep our focus on Jesus and the eternity He has promised, which is the only way we will ever see the kingdom of God,“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jn 3:16

So, Jesus came to make a way,“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jn 14:6 a way that saves us not condemns us,“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Jn 3:17 When we put Jesus first, He will supply all we need in this life, but not necessarily all we want,“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19 It is our wants that need to change,“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Heb 13:5 our wants need to align with the purpose God created for us,“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10 He asks us to do our good works by following Jesus’s way,“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28 This leads us to God's will for our lives,“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom 12:2

This is why God asks us not to envy what others have, for this kind of thinking leads us away from God and the Spiritual gifts He gives us,“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” Ex 20:17 Coveting leads us to steal and destroy rather than gather,“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Jam 3:16 God wants us to love and respect everyone, which means everything we think about and do will demonstrate our love for our neighbors,“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 Jn 4:20-21 Learning to love God and our neighbor is the reason we are here,“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 Jn 4:7-8 We cannot expect God to allow us to bring our jealousy into heaven. He sent Jesus to be our example, showing us what love is, and expressing His love by giving up His life to save us,“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” 1 Jn 4:9 Jesus brought a new commandment to us, love thy neighbor,“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Jn 13:34 and jealousy has no place in this new commandment or in heaven.

If we love God and want to live with Him for eternity, we must not envy what others have. Instead, we need to be grateful for what we have and make sure we share it with others,“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Tim 6:17

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