SUNDAY, APRIL 6, 2014.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha




‘Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them,’ Prov. 24:1.

RAY Andrew insists: unlike jealously, envy is not an attribute of God. Rather, it is a product of a sinful nature found only in man. Long before it ever manifests itself to the eye of man, it first devises its plan within the heart (Mark 7:21-23.) Unfortunately, it is not a problem that plagues only the wicked of men, it also frustrates the righteous. Therefore, it makes sense that Solomon would warn his son to guard his heart against the dangers of envy. Job was quick to add, envy slays (Job 5:2) and it often slays both the victim and the participant. Therefore, the believer must battle each day to keep envy from overtaking his heart and defiling him.

At the surface, the wicked looks glamorous in his attitude to things. There is ceaseless bubbling, yes, call it pomp and pageantry to the effect that everything seems to be at his beck and call: wealth, connection, women, wine, etc. Often, the wicked wishes that such a merry-go-round will never cease, but he will soon discover to his chagrin that all is vanity and has a calamitous end attendant to such unbridled life style.

The warning of Solomon to his son is still relevant today. Many believers are trapped already by envy and this, to all intent and purposes, should be dealt with before it eats somebody up. Joseph’s brothers envied him. They wanted to kill him, but decided to sell him as a slave (Genesis 37:11, 18, 20, 26-27). He spent 13 years as a slave. He did not envy his brothers who were at home but served God where he was. When he saw his brothers again, he helped them (Genesis 50:21). But should it be so, your own blood brother?

Do you find yourself envying others? Why do you envy them? Don’t you know that life is not about competition? The Bible passage is real when God says: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end,’ Jer. 29v11. God is really concerned about our situation and us and that should bring a great consolation to us. This means envy is not the solution, but turning to Him, Who has already promised to give us hope and a better tomorrow. Today may not be pleasant, but do we know what He is planning for our future?

The wicked is destined for destruction. His agenda is not that of God but self alone. He can tell his soul, ‘you have enough to wine and dine,’ but he does not think seriously about tomorrow or the eternity of his soul. In short, his attitude is that of now, pleasures of the moment, even with the epicurean spirit; let us eat for tomorrow we die. Yet, there are some, who call themselves Christians and yet they are desperate and desirous of the lifestyle of the wicked. Any candidate of heaven should see that envying such people is not good since their end is known.

It is worthy of note that Job in his distress, the Bible recorded he did not sin against God with his mouth, Job 1v22. Rather, he was confident and that should be the attitude of the Christian today, he said: ‘but as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth and at last he will stand up upon the earth,’ Job 19v25. Therefore, all energy should not be directed to envy but should be redirected to creative and productive things. Think about it: Will the things for which you envy people help or hurt you on the Day of Judgment? Child of God, do not envy the wicked.

Let us pray:
• Ask God to help you guard your heart against envy.
• Ask the Lord to help you be satisfied with His will for you in this life.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Delta State.

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