Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Trap of Envy (Number 32 in a series)

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

My sister has three horses: two Missouri Fox Trotters, a mare and a gelding, and a gelding Mini. The full-sized gelding is the alpha horse of the herd. At feeding time, he exercises his authority over the others by running them away from the first feed bin to be filled.

There are three feed bins, spread apart. Once he has his feed, you would think he’d be happy. But no, he is so envious of what the others have that he will abandon his bin to run them from theirs. There is no difference in what they’re getting, yet he wants what they have so much that he doesn’t enjoy his own.

Not only does he not take time to enjoy his own, but he also loses it. While he is busy stealing their food, they amble over to his and eat that instead. He doesn’t gain anything by coveting their meals.

Isn’t that what envy does in humans? Envy makes us worry so much about what someone else has that we don’t appreciate what we do have. We can easily get caught up in wanting instead of thanking God for He has already given us.

“For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.” Job 5:2 (KJV)

Have you fallen into the trap of ‘the silly one’ and let envy slay your joy? Take a moment to appreciate all the blessings you’ve received. Contented gratitude is the antidote to envy.

Father, thank you for all that You have given me. Help me to be grateful for what I have, not envious of what I don’t have. And please grant me an abundance of contentment, wherever I find myself.

© 2009 Mary Beth Magee

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