Envy signifies that you don't trust God. You don’t believe that He has your best interest at heart.
“Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 TLB).
One of the signs that envy is in your heart and you need to eliminate it is that you constantly use this phrase: “It’s not fair.” “It’s not fair that he gets to do that and I don’t!” “It’s not fair that it’s easy for her and not for me.” “It’s not fair that their kids got the award and mine didn’t.” “It’s not fair that they can afford that vacation and I can’t.”
Envy is actually a battle with God. You’re in a war with God every time you envy. Because what you’re saying is, “God, you blew it. You didn’t do it right. You didn’t have the brains enough to make me the way I ought to be. Because if you really loved me, you wouldn’t have made me me. You would have made me somebody else.”
And God says, “Huh? If I didn’t make you you, you wouldn’t exist!”
The problem with envy is this: You don’t trust God. You don’t believe that he has your best interest at heart. You don’t believe that he knows more than you do about what’s best for you.
There are things in your life that you don’t have because God knows a reason why you shouldn’t have them. There are some talents God did not give you. There are some opportunities God does not give you. And there are some experiences in life you don’t get.
You can either trust God, or you can shake your fist in anger. But God is smarter than you, and he knows better. He knows better!
God has given each of us a race to run. You can’t run anybody else’s race, and no one else can run yours. You can either run your race, or you can make up your own race. That’s what most people do — they make up their own race in life and then wonder why they hit dead ends.
God wants you to run the race that he has for you. It’s a plan that is custom designed for your life. When you focus on God’s race, you won’t need to worry about the race everybody else is running. You won’t be bothered by the crowds that are cheering or jeering in the stands. You’re living for an audience of one: God.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (TLB). The more you understand your call from God, the less you’ll be worried about what God has called other people to do.
Any time spent envying other people is wasted time. Just be who God made you to be!
Talk It Over
- How do you respond to a child who says, “That’s not fair”? What can you learn from your own response to that child?
- Do you trust that God knows better what you need? Why or why not?
- What has God called you to do and be? What are you doing right now to work toward those goals and focus on God’s race that he has planned for you?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.