June 3

Proverbs 22:1-24:22

Have you ever been bitten by the green-eyed monster? You see your neighbor, who is vocal about his dislike for Christians, drive up in his new luxury car while you are praying you can coax one more year out of your 2000 SUV. Or that guy at work keeps getting promoted and you know he spends his weekends in a bottle and you catch him lying to the bosses. Here you are, working like crazy, living a life set apart to honor God and you keep getting overlooked when promotions are given. 

Proverbs 23:17-18 says: Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

You know that “do not envy” is another of God’s top ten commandments, don’t you? There is a reason for that. Envy, like any sin, eats away at our joy, our peace and contentment. It causes us to doubt God and drives a wedge between us and the Lord. The more we feed it, the bigger and more destructive it gets. 

Remember that everything that happens in this life is intended to draw all people to God. He is not willing that that neighbor or co-worker should perish and we don’t know what God is using in their lives to draw them to himself. It might be that car or that promotion. 

Is God opening a door for you to talk with your neighbor about his new car? Does God want your neighbor to see Jesus in you? Does God want to use you to represent him in your workplace whether or not you get a promotion? If we allow jealousy to enter our lives we cannot do what God wants us to, intends for us to do.

Father God, it’s kind of hard sometimes to watch a sinful world get ahead while we who follow you struggle. It’s tempting to want what they have, to join in their fun, or cut corners to get ahead. God help us who love you to be zealous for the fear of the Lord. To be the people you intend for us to be, to allow you to use us to reveal you to our world, and to be thankful for the privilege no matter what our circumstance. Our future, our hope is in you.

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