"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:2-3 NIV)
One important antidote to overcoming envy is to refocus on pleasing God. That simply means that we look at life from God's viewpoint and recognize that material things are all temporary; they're not going to last. Instead, we can refocus on things that matter and give attention to things that are going to count and last for eternity — like loving, knowing, and serving God.
When I focus on making God number one in my life, remembering that he made me unique and has a plan for my life, then competition becomes irrelevant. That’s because I'm not competing with anyone else. I'm unique, and so are you.
Instead of living with envy, we can make a choice not to compare ourselves with others and allow it to destroy our lives and relationships. We can focus on what we have and really be content. Every day, we can show our love for others by enjoying their successes. And, most importantly, we can refocus on pleasing God with our lives by recognizing he made us unique and has a special plan for our lives.
The truth is, envy is really a battle with God. You resent his decisions. You are accusing him of being unfair. This means you don’t really trust him to know what’s best for you.
Ask God to help you see yourself as he sees you and to be all that he created you to be. Look at things from his point of view and realize that material things aren't going to last, but relationships do. As your perspective begins to change, you'll see that it really is possible to have a life without envy.
Talk About It -
- Write down this reminder: "God may have a reason why I don't have what I want." How will this truth help you overcome envy?
- One sign of envy is the language you use: "It's not fair" or "Why not me?" or "I work as hard as they do!" What do these phrases say about what you might be thinking? Are these phrases a part of your everyday speech?
- Fact: Envy distracts you from your life purpose. Get on with your life!
Learn how to be a DOER of God’s Word.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.