Her name is Envy. You might know her. She whispers in your ear that who you are and what you have is not enough. You need to be like someone else or go for what that other person has because it’s what you really want. She seems to crop up online – or that has been my experience of her mostly. Sometimes she shows her face on adverts. Envy is good at robbing you of your here and now as it constantly looks to feed that longing of wanting what someone else has to the point of leaving you discontent and dissatisfied. She promises to deliver, but falls short every time.
Envy has been bugging me a lot recently. She knows that lockdown is tiring and that it’s easy for my guard to slip. She knows my weaknesses. Spending more time online means that she has a lot more opportunity. Spending time away from others means that she can try her best to keep me in my own head with that jealousy creeping in like an intruder in black – ‘A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones’ (Psalm 14:30 NIV).
As Envy tries to wear me down, I remember the truth of what Jesus had to say about what is on the inside of someone and how He gives a better way.
‘For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.’ Mark 7:20-23 NLT
Jesus knows what is in our heart. He knows that without Him we cannot overcome it. He died on the cross for all of the things mentioned above and every sin anyone has ever committed or will ever commit. When we follow Him and become believers, His Spirit is in us. The Holy Spirit helps us as we fight against all of those things that seem to have such a powerful hold on our hearts and minds as we live by faith in Him.
‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20 ESV
Is it hard? Yes. Does Envy still rear her ugly head? Yes. But now as I recognise that this is an area in my life that I struggle with (maybe you are wrestling with something else), I am more aware, more ready to pray, more eager to defeat its hold in my life and more victorious knowing that Christ is in me and working in me. He fights for me as I surrender to Him.
Where are you wrestling with sin in your life right now? Hand that over to Jesus today, say sorry for those times when you recognise it in your life and ask Him to help you to turn away from it. Remember all that He did for you on the cross and the wonderful truth of His resurrection – He loves you.
‘Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.’ Hebrews 2:17-18 NLT