Peace Week: Bone-Rotting Envy

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)

Stress comes in lots of flavors, and most docs will tell you that too much stress is bad for your body. One of the things that stresses us out is sin – the commitment to live our way over God’s way. Today’s verse points to envy as the stressor, the peace-stealer.

peace_350Envy can be defined as a refusal to be satisfied with what God has given to me because what someone else has looks way better. It’s like volunteering to give up our peace of mind.

There’s nothing wrong with my saying, “Hey, I think what you’ve got is really cool.” The wrong comes when we say, “Now I won’t be happy because you have it and I don’t.”

To hold on to envy is a choice, one that will “rot your bones.” In other words, unless you choose life-giving peace by thanking God for what you have and trusting him with what you want – envy will eat you from the inside out.

Don’t buy the lie: You really can let it go.

Think: Does envy usually feel like a choice or a feeling that happens to you against your will? Have you ever had success battling envy with gratitude? Why do you think that can be so effective?

Pray: Ask God to help you to let go of envy when it comes. Ask him to help you to choose to be grateful for all he gives to you – and to experience the peace of mind that comes with gratitude.

Do: If you know a doctor, ask if he or she sees any connection between physical health and holding on to negative, stressful attitudes like envy.