Aug. 15, 2021
“Envy Is…No Longer My Master”
Matthew 15:17–19; Proverbs 14:30; Ecclesiastes 4:4–8
a. All of us have emotions that compete for control of our lives and specifically for our mouths. They get us into trouble because we let those emotions become our master.
“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them (put them at odds with God and others). For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
b. Our words and deeds reflect the condition of our hearts.
c. How to say “no” to the emotions that compete for control.
- Week One: Guilt
2. Week Two: Envy
“…envy rots the bones.”
a. Envy leaves us competing with people that don’t even know there’s a competition.
b. It makes us arrogant when we are winning OR it leaves us feeling discouraged when we are not.
c. Envy is not a problem to solve. It’s a tension to manage and an emotion that easily throws us off balance.
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
d. Envy steals the joy from our accomplishments because someone else accomplished more.
i. Solomon compares this to “chasing after the wind.”
ii. When you catch yourself looking and drifting into someone else’s lane in life, stop and say, “Envy, you’re no longer my master!”
“Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves. Better one handful with tranquility (satisfaction/contentment) than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”
e. We usually assume more is better but chasing more only leaves us wanting more.
i. Less is more when it leads to contentment and peace.
“Again, I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother.”
There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom
am I toiling,”
ii. Why am I doing this, what am I trying to prove, and to whom am I trying to prove it?
“…and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
“This too is meaningless—a miserable business!”
iii. We’ll never be who we were born to be if we are looking over our shoulder at everybody else.
iv. For Christians: We’ll never experience God’s purpose for our life while distracted by God’s purpose for somebody else.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
v. We will never compare or compete our way to peace!
vi. We can’t win chasing the wind.
“God has given you a race to run. Get in your lane, stay there, and thrive there. Change somebody’s world from there.”
a. Look to others for inspiration, not imitation.
“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for Life
b. Count your blessings, not your neighbor’s.
c. When tempted to compare, stop, and declare: “Envy, you are no longer my master…I will not chase the wind.”
d. As a follower of Jesus, you already have a Master, and He has given us the great commandment…
i. Don’t compare yourself to one another—we are to “Love one another…”
ii. Envy always gets in the way of love. Loving one another is not a nice to do; it’s a must do. It’s mission critical for the followers of Jesus.
iii. Jesus said people would know you are my follower if you love, celebrate, cheer for, care for, and are there for one another. That’s where peace, purpose, and life are found.