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The Sin of Envy

A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.  Proverbs 14:30 NKJV

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)I thought I was beyond the sin of envy. The very definition of envy—wanting what belongs to someone else and smacking of childishness—was me. Through recent events of normal living, I couldn't seem to shake a vague discontentment. I wondered what was wrong with me, searched my heart for evidence, and found the grumbly spirit of envy hiding.

I didn't want to admit it, but the red-hot poker of conviction burned my soul. I’d allowed enough negative thoughts in to experience a full-blown case of envy toward a woman I love and appreciate—at least when I'm not busy wishing I had her life, lovely figure, wonderful status, and seemingly perfect kids.

We think envy is something we experienced on the school playground, but it's woefully relevant to adult living. Ever present, it lurks in our daily lives, waiting for an opportunity to gain a foothold. Envy is like a poisonous sword. Once our soul is pierced, every part of our life is affected. Left unattended, it eats clean through to the bones.

The sin of envy is a huge distraction to living a contented life. When we focus on what someone else has, we misuse the energy we need to live our own lives. If our thoughts center around someone else's marvelous kids, then our own will always fall short by comparison. The people in my life need me to be there for them … helping them be the best they can be … not comparing them with the "perfect" behavior of others.

So I confessed to God and myself that I was, indeed, jealous of what He had given someone else. Once I repented, I was able to move on. The vague irritation disappeared and contentment  once again reigned.

Take a close look at your contentment meter. If it's a bit on the low side, perhaps you need to move past the denial that it could never happen to you. See if the sin of envy isn't lurking in a dark corner of your soul. God loves you. He knows His children are not perfect, and He promises to restore His precious peace to our lives as often as we need. 

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)

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Mary Pat Johns

Mary Pat Johns is currently a Bible teacher at Faith Family, a mega-church in Victoria, Texas. Her teaching venues include assignments for ladies’ Bible study and assisting her husband with their weekly Understanding God class. She also serves as an instructor for Destiny Bible Institute. A mother and grandmother, she lives with her husband and their miniature dachshund Ike, who runs the show.


  1. Mary, this is a wonderful devotional. It hits the hearts of so many of us who have fallen for this big sin. It can occur at any stage of life. It is so difficult to ""be content with what you have"" at times, and it makes an unpleasant person of us.

  2. Wonderful devotion, thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. What a great devotional. It never seems to matter how firmly rooted we are in Christ, the devil's tricks are always the same and no amount of pious living can keep us from periodically being attacked. Luckily we have the Holy Spirit that convicts and gives us the opportunity to repent. Spot on!