A Look At Envy
INTRO - A little snail that lived by the ocean noticed with envy the big and beautiful shell in which the lobster lived.
"Oh! How this little shell of mine pinches," whined the little snail. "What a grand palace the lobster carries on his back! I wish I lived in his place. Oh! Wouldn't my friends admire me in that shell! Think of a snail living in a mansion like that!" In time a wonderful thing occurred. The watching, envious snail beheld the lobster work right out of his shell to grow up in another, larger one. When the empty, metallic green shell of the lobster lay neglected on the beach, the snail said, "Now I shall have my wish. Hurrah! The little snail is going to live in a lobster shell!" In his pride he cried out to the birds overhead, "Ah, the little snail is going to live in a lobster shell." He cried to the cattle in the field, "Oh, oh! Now you shall see. The little snail is going to live in a palace." So the birds and the cattle in the field were curious and they watched the little snail. The snail pulled himself loose from his own little shell, and cried, "Well, I'm glad to say I'm through with you. Goodbye. You've pinched me and pressed me for the last time. I am going to live in the grand lobster shell." The birds and the animals saw the little snail proudly crawl into the towering lobster shell and he huffed and puffed and blew and gasped in an effort to make himself fit. But with all his efforts he felt very small inside the grand lobster shell. He grew tired, too. That night he died because the great empty shell was so cold. A wise old crow then said, "You see! That's what comes of envy. What you have is enough. Be yourself and save yourself from a lot of trouble. How much better to be a little snail in a comfortable shell than to be a little snail in a big shell and freeze to death!"
According to Oxford, envy is defined as a discontented or resentful longing aroused by another's possessions, qualities, or luck. Many times in the Bible envy and jealousy are interchanged.
I. STORIES OF ENVY
A. Philistines of Isaac’s Flocks - Gn 26:14
B. Joseph’s Brothers of His Dreams & Treatment - Gn 37:11
C. Korah of Moses’ Position - Nm 16:3 / Ps 106:13
D. Satraps of Daniel’s Position - Dn 6:3-4
E. Chief Priest of Jesus’ Results - Mk 5:10
II. DANGERS OF ENVY
A. Envy is Comparable to Sheol - Ss 8:6 Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD.
B. Envy Is Of The Flesh - 1 Co 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
C. Envy Rots Away At Us - Pv 14:30b But passion is rottenness to the bones.
D. Envy Drives People Away - Pv 27:4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, But who can stand before jealousy?
E. Envy Enrages - Pv 6:34 For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
F. Envy Brings Disorder And Evil - Jm 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
G. Envy Kills - Jb 5:2 For anger slays the foolish man, And jealousy kills the simple.
CONCL - Envy demonstrates a lack of trust in God. We are not to set our desires on anything that belongs to someone else. Not only can such desires make us miserable, they can also lead us to many other sins. Envying others is a useless exercise because God is able to provide everything we really need, even if he does not always give us everything we want. - 1 Tm 6:7-8 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.