Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:26)
I find it funny how the Old Testament’s references to envy focus on God’s people looking outward to the world (“sinners”). They were not to envy wrongdoers, those on the outside.
However, the New Testament directs its instructions inwardly, warning believers against envying each other. For those of us who know the inner workings of church life, we fully understand the change.
Now, a confession first.
I have decided this “deadly sin” is not my problem, that envy is not a problem in my part of the world. I honestly don’t know anyone sitting around stewing over the neighbors having a car and wishing it was in their own driveway. I know of no preachers fuming because another pastor received a doctorate which he should have rightfully received. So, maybe envy is no longer a problem to moderns.
But hold on. Not so fast.
Perhaps I’ve been defining envy too narrowly.