“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” —Proverbs 14:30
Last season, Brandon Marshall and I were going through the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. We encountered a lot of old and new truths to dive into.
In one portion of our study we were looking at the trap of envy. We know that God hates sin, but envy is one sin that God specifically highlights as evil. He ultimately despises envy. Envying something, no matter what that is—someone else’s looks, success, etc.—is a sin. In fact it’s a slap in the face to God because, ultimately, you are telling Him that He made a mistake.
It’s extremely hard to avoid the trap of envy, especially in the NFL. Our jobs are production-based; we are constantly measuring ourselves up to our teammates and opponents. The more you accomplish, the better you are—if you’re having a bad season but someone else is having a great one, it’s really hard to not be jealous of them. To avoid this, we can focus on the fact that there are valuable lessons to be learned through adversity.
In order to avoid envying someone else’s success, we should remind each other how blessed we really are to be where we are—we have a platform to witness for Christ. It’s an honor to do what God is calling us to do, no matter what that is. God gave us His only Son and the power to witness to others and spread the Good News of His saving grace. We may be the only Jesus that someone else sees, and that can either be a negative or a positive one so we always have to be on our toes in order to be our best for Christ.
I have had many great representations of Christ throughout my life. I’ve been so encouraged watching how diligent my mother and father have always been to remain in the Word, studying Scripture. They always encouraged me to go to Sunday school, church, and seek God on my own. Likewise, I’ve always admired my grandfather and my father-in-law’s faith, their preaching, and their lifestyles of spreading God’s truth to others. Seeing these faithful Christians and experiencing their love for God reminds me to constantly renew my mind so that I am seeking God wholeheartedly.
Life gets busy; in the middle of the NFL season when it’s hard to find time for anything outside of football, it’s extremely important to stay faithful in reading God’s Word. No matter what life throws your way, the best thing you can do is to keep God’s Word at the forefront of your mind. This will help you to renew your mind and trust God with whatever you may face today.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” —Colossians 3:15
—Matt Forte, New York Jets running back