“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” — Proverbs 14:30
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It’s easy for the equipment manager to be envious of the franchise quarterback who makes much more money than he does. Perhaps someone works in the concession stand and drives a car that’s loud because it needs a new exhaust pipe, but the car is reliable to get to work every day. When we see others enjoying luxuries that we don’t have, we may be envious and forget that we have good health, steady income, a loving family, a host of friends, a loving God and a home in Heaven.
King Saul was the first king of Israel. He was taller than anybody else in his nation, blessed with a good family and moved from poverty to wealth when he was anointed king. He could have had a long, prosperous kingdom, but he refused to be content, because he envied the attention and accomplishments of David. When some claimed David was a better soldier, Saul burned inside with anger. He hunted David to the point that he neglected his responsibilities as king, and everybody around him suffered.
When a group of women sang about David after he defeated Goliath, Saul couldn’t stand it. “Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?’ And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David” (1 Samuel 18:8-9). Soon thereafter, the Philistines invaded Israel, partly because Saul was so distracted by his envy of the shepherd boy.
Throughout Scripture, we are encouraged to be content with what we have and not to covet what belongs to someone else. Some of our unhappiness results from our refusal to see our blessings and thinking that others have it better than we do. We would please God more and probably be healthier and happier if we enjoyed what we have. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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