A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot. Proverbs 14:30 (ESV)
We just heard a sermon on envy based on Genesis 37. Joseph was the favorite of his father Jacob. He’s the one to whom Jacob gave the multicolored tunic and had the dreams which suggested his brothers would bow down to him.
Their envy was SO HOT that they decided to kill their brother (fortunately, they only threw him into a pit!).
Here’s a good definition of envy that shows how it can “make the bones rot:”
Envy is the side-long glance that focuses on other people that we feel are better or are better off than we are. It has the sense about it that we say that life is unfair and God is unfair. God does for others what he hasn’t done for us. Envy can be very destructive because it takes a keen delight in other people’s failures and faults. Envy seldom is satisfied unless someone else is hurt. Genesis 4 gives us the result of Cain’s side-long glance: envy, rivalry, conflict, hatred, and ultimately murder. (from Discover the Word website).
A tranquil or peaceful heart is the opposite of envy. A tranquil heart trusts that no matter how life goes, no matter how other people are treated compared to us, God has our best interests in mind.
A tranquil heart doesn’t look around to see who has it better or who does it better. It does not delight in others’ failures or become envious of their successes. A peaceful heart rests in God’s love and provision.
Dear Lord: Help me to have a peaceful heart, trusting in Your best intentions towards me, even when life is rough. The Cross proves that Your love backs all that you withhold and all that you provide. Help me to remember that whenever I start to compare and whenever I sense envy start to rise up. Amen.