Play Snow White video.
What is the evil queen’s great sin?
A. Envy ねたみ
Continue our series on the seven deadly sins and their blessing counterparts. Last month we looked at pride. Today, envy.
Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“
Galations 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
Envy is sorrow, sadness or anger at the the goodness or excellence of someone else, because I take it to lessen my own excellence. It is a core sin that leads to many others and the Bible frequently warns against it. ねたみは他の誰かのいいところ、優れているところに悲しみ、怒りを感じることです。自分の優れたところを低下させるからです。
Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
i. Envy vs Jealousy
Envy is often confused and used synonymously with jealousy but they are not the same thing. Jealousy can be a good thing, envy is never a good thing.
Where envy wants what others have, Jealousy makes us fear to lose what we already possess.
This might be a good or bad thing. It might make us materialistic, greedy and selfish. On the other hand, things that are rightfully and exclusively ours, like a spouse or a child, for example, can produce a righteous jealousy. If some guy took away my wife and I didn’t feel jealous, something’s wrong! God declares that He is a jealous God – feeling jealousy for us when we turn from Him to other gods or idols.
Envy is always selfish and sinful. And the key difference with envy is that when it is full grown (unlike jealousy) I do not want to possess the good or excellence you have. I want to destroy it. Envy wants to destroy. ねたみはいつも自己中心で罪深いものです。 ねたみは壊そうとします。
ii. Envy is subtle ねたみは微妙である
One of the things that makes envy so dangerous is its subtlety. To use a body analogy, if anger is like a nose bleed and theft is like a missing finger, envy is like a cancer. It’s very difficult to detect in its early stages. It just slowly grows, bubbling away, making you sick and tired until it seriously damages your life.
iii. Envy is common ねたみはよくあること
One of the things that makes envy so dangerous is that it’s become so common we can barely recognise it even when we do see it. If everyone envies everyone, then its just normal.
In Australia we refer to “tall poppy syndrome”. We want to cut down the most successful person or hope that they lose simply because they are the most successful person. We see this with the ‘A’ student in the classroom, with excellence on the sporting field, with the morally upright who makes others feel ashamed. We even see it – controversy time – in ‘participation awards’ where everyone at school or in a club is rewarded even if they haven’t done anything deserving reward because – and this is the root problem – of envy. At many schools today we don’t have winners or losers academically or in sport because, ultimately, of envy. And so we have a lot of kids growing up who don’t know how to cope graciously with failure or true success. Or feelings of envy.
iv. Envy comes from within – not from the person we envy.
No-one can make you envy. You might be provoked but the bottom line is that envy comes out of the heart within, it cannot be imposed on you from without.
Mark 7:21-23 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Envy, when full grown, wants to destroy.
Saul vs David
Once David came back from battle and people were singing that Saul had slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands, Saul was filled with envy. This meant that he was not able to celebrate David’s victories for the nation or reward him for his faithfulness to God and to Saul, but rather he just wanted to kill him. And the greater David’s successes and kindnesses toward Saul, the less excellent Saul appeared to himself and others and the more he wanted to kill David.
Chief Priests vs Jesus
We see exactly the same thing with the chief priests and their feelings of envy toward Jesus.
Matthew 27:18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
There is some really twisted thinking here when the chief priest prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.
John 11:49-52 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.
What’s the very next verse?
So from that day on they plotted to take his life. Envy wants to destroy.
What is the opposite of envy? What is its blessing counterpart?
B. Contentment 満足
Let me share with you some of the scriptures that teach this. I want you to receive these words of God into your heart, into your mind, and to apply them in your life.
Psalm 131:2 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
How do we get this contentment? What are the remedies for an envious heart?:
i. Fear God 神を恐れる
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. When we fear God, there is no-one or any situation that we need to fear. We can rest content.
ii. Trust in God’s provision for what you have not yet received 神が与えてくださるものに信頼する
Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
When we truly trust that God will provide, it doesn’t concern us what other people have.
iii. Have gratitude for God’s provision for what you have already received (physically and spiritually) 神が与えてくださるものに感謝する
Colossians 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly …and…sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Gratitude is the antidote to envy. If you find yourself envying another, sing to God with gratitude in your heart and there will be nothing left to envy.
iv. Focus on Jesus/the cross – not others イエス/十字架に焦点を当てる
Jn 21:19-22 Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them… When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Don’t fix your eyes on others, fix your eyes on God.
Something I quoted from Rick Warren a couple of weeks ago:
Don’t look to the world – it will only make you distressed. Don’t look to yourself – it will only make you depressed. Look to the cross – and there you will find your rest.
This remedy for envy – focussing on the cross – gives us strength to employ the final remedy, which is…
v. Rejoice in the success of others 人の成功を喜ぶ
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice
Can be hard! It can be hard sometimes to celebrate the success of others without envy.
The barren woman trying to celebrate time after time with her friends who fall pregnant.
The student who doesn’t get into university rejoicing all his friends who do. etc
But harbouring bitterness or envy in such situations brings nothing good – nothing but decay.
But when we can learn to truly rejoice with those who are rejoicing, regardless of our own situation, we find the peace and contentment of God.
Let me finish on a final note which is love. When God’s love is truly present in our lives, there is no room for anything fearful or hateful. When God’s light is truly present in our lives, there is no room for anything dark or sinful. 神の愛が私たちのうちに本当にあるから、恐れたり憎んだりする余地はありません。
There is only gratitude and trust and Christlikeness. 感謝と信頼とキリストのようになることだけです。
Perfect love drives out all fear. Pray.