“It’s important to understand that envy never rests. Envy never lives in the heart as just envy. Envy quickly morphs into anger, the anger looks for an object, and finally envy shuts the heart off from trust in God.”- Paul David Tripp
“When my soul was embittered, I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel . . .”- Psalm 73:21-24 (ESV)
In Chapter 5 (“The Envy Trap”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp takes an in-depth look at Psalm 73. A powerfully diagnostic psalm, it presents a treatise on the heart- debilitating dangers of envy. Thus, Pastor Tripp lists eight teachings Psalm 73 gives about envy. Today he talks about the first teaching.
1. Envy is natural. Every human being interprets all aspects of life. As Pastor Tripp states, on a daily basis we do situational, moral, spiritual, and personal calculus. Therefore, we constantly add up the details and circumstances of our lives. We want to see the sum total of our beliefs, decisions, and actions. As a result, the author notes, we tend to ask two big questions:
- What have I gotten in return for my heart commitments and life decisions?
- Has it all been worth it?
Because we ask these questions, it’s only natural that we compare ourselves with others. And when we do this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the trials of others are easier and their blessings greater.
But, this doesn’t assure us that we’ve made the right commitments and decisions. Rather, we end up wishing for the life of those other people. Not only is this never good for your heart, but it fails to motivate you to continue seeking and doing what’s right.
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you when envy morphs into anger? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Valuing present physical comforts”