By Allen White
I never really considered peace as the opposite of envy. Strife seems like the counter to peace and satisfaction to envy. But, peace and envy? I’ve honestly never put them together, even though I’ve read this proverb many times.
Envy can’t stand it when others succeed. When someone gets a newer, shinier ________________, do we congratulate them, then begin investigating how to do better? Or do we just assume they are living beyond their means and just putting on for show?
When we envy, we compete. We strive to keep up with the Joneses. Striving leads to, well, strife. Whether the other person is aware or not, we harbor an inner wrestling. Our pride tells us we are better than the other, so we deserve better than they do.
Envy doesn’t bring life to the body. Instead, envy “rots the bones.” How are your bones? No amount of calcium will overcome this envy sickness.
Peace certainly relates to an absence of strife. But, in the case of envy, peace succumbs to internal strife.
Someone with a heart at peace knows who they are. A heart at peace believes God has a plan and knows He is working for our good. A peaceful heart knows whether we’re the tortoise or the hare, God is always there.
Think about this – what would you rather have? Meaningful work or material success? Of course, we answer “both.” Yet, we live in the wealthiest country of the world and live far above the rest of the world, but we are not satisfied with material success – especially if other “undeserving” folks are more successful than we are.
If you could choose only one, would you rather have health or wealth? Would you rather have salvation or stuff? Would you rather have a heart at peace or bone rotting envy?
God didn’t create us to be better than other people. God created us to be us. With His power and promise, we are certainly destined to become a better version of us. But, a “better me” is not at the cost of besting others.
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