How do you feel when you see people’s holiday pictures?
When you see someone pictured somewhere you have always wanted to go or doing things that you have always wanted to do, it’s natural to feel envious. The trouble with envy though is that it is destructive, because if we feel envious of what someone else has it will rob us of any joy that we might be feeling where we are in life.
You see, envy will lead us to believe that we can never be happy unless we have what someone else has. This is especially destructive if we cannot have that thing or holiday because in those circumstances, envy will make us miserable.
Tracey and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and we had a few days away whilst my mother in law looked after our children (you will be glad to know that she survived!) We spent most days geocaching and at the end of the week we reflected on what a great time we had had even though we hadn’t spent much money during our time away.
There is a lie that many people fall for and that lie is that you cannot be happy unless you have and spend lots of money.
If my relationship with Tracey isn’t enough without money or possessions then that is really sad. We need to be content with and enjoy each other, because when we focus on what we don’t have then we can never be happy.
I believe that if we can let go of any envy and desire for what other people have then we could be so much happier. Envy will literally choke the life out of us. In the parable of the sower, Jesus taught that ‘the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things’ will choke our faith (Mark 4.19). These three things will sap the life out of us and my prayer is that God would help us to be free of them.
As I see pictures of people doing fun things that could lead me to envy, I make a choice to be happy for instead of being envious of them. I pause to be thankful that my friends are having fun and pray that God would bless them and this pause and choice helps protect me from being choked by envy.
We can also pray for our own lives, that God would help us to be content and that he would help us to enjoy what we have.
As you look at Facebook over these next few days, you will see some pictures that would naturally make you envious. How will you respond when you see those pictures?