One's life does not consist


 

  I'm thinking about starting a social network for people who struggle with jealousy.  I think it would be huge!  But, I think it might be self-defeating, since social media is poison for our contentment. . . . .alas, a short-lived network.  

There is hardly a more lethal ingredient to Christian community, and to our personal spiritual grown, than envy.   The last commandment tells us (Ex. 20:17) not to covet our neighbor's house (obviously, before Zillow), our neighbor's wife (pre-Ashley Madison), or his maidservant or manservant, donkey or ox, or anything that belongs to your neighbor (way, way before HGTV).  

This simple commandment is an application and outgrowth of "loving your neighbor". Cultural observers are actually starting to see that we actually covet attention more than love.  The commandment carries so much wisdom for us as we navigate our anxious, depressed, disconnected culture.  Jesus reinforced this ethic, recorded in the book of Luke, when he said ""Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."  Paul says that "coveteousness is idolatry", connecting the 10th commandment to the 1st.   And, the promise is shown in 1 Tim. 6:6 when Paul says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain".  

One very practical way to combat envy is to develop a spirit of gratitude and wonder at God's creation.  It's hard to remain envious of your neighbor when, in your heart, you're thanking God for his success and worshipping God for the great works seen in his life.    

Here's a great article from Tilly Dillehay that gives us a good look at the problem, and very practical steps to take when Envy rears it's head in your life.  I hope you'll take a minute and read it.  If we're ever going to walk in freedom from anxiety, discouragement, and bitterness. . . we have to, first, repent of our envy, and let the Spirit work in us with His great power.  

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