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hy can’t I look like her? Why  and could have expressed thankfulness
                 can’t I make people laugh like he  for his and David’s particular abilities (see
        Wdoes? Why can’t I own a car like  1Sa 16:18). To question why you were not
        his or afford a vacation like theirs? Perhaps  made a certain way with particular features
        we’ve all allowed such questions to invade  or given specific gifts is to deny that you
        our minds and to take up residence there  were “fearfully and wonderfully made”
        far too long. Scrolling through nearly end-  by your Creator (Psa 139:14). God did not
        less social media posts only exacerbates  make you to be someone else.
        the problem. Questions can even spill over   Second, envy destroys your usefulness by
        into the spiritual realm. I might wonder  infecting your mind, exterminating your
        why I can’t sing like her, preach like him  joy, contaminating your motives and dam-
        or lead like others. Once we open the door  aging precious relationships. One wonders
        to envy, it doesn’t take long to consume  what a relationship Saul might have had
        us. Solomon said, “Envy makes the bones  with his son-in-law had he not opened the
        rot” (Pro 14:30).                    door to envy.
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          Solomon’s father was envied by Israel’s   Third, envy displays all ungodliness. There
        first king, Saul, a case study in the rot  is no sin envy cannot lead me to commit.
        caused by envy. When David proved suc-  “Where jealousy and selfish ambition ex-
        cessful on the battlefield, he returned home  ist, there will be disorder and every vile
        to an enthusiastic crowd of women sing-  practice” (Jas 3:16). The spear protruding
        ing, “Saul has struck down his thousands,  from Saul’s palace wall and the pool of
        and David his ten thousands” (1Sa 18:7).  blood next to Abel’s body demonstrate
        Brimming with envy and fear of losing his  envy’s deadly potential. No wonder we
        kingdom, Saul “eyed David from that day  find it in the legendary list of the “seven
        on” (v9). In the chapters that follow, Saul’s  deadly sins.”
        jealousy of David’s gifts are front and cen-  How do we evict the enemy of envy and
        ter on nearly every page of the sacred text.   rid ourselves of its destructive rot? As with
        Ultimately, the rot of envy would consume   any of the works of the flesh, the answer is
        Saul, leading him to attempt brazen acts of   not far away, for although envy can invade
        violence against innocent David. Envy’s   us and stay far too long, we have a more
        power is accurately described by another   powerful, pleasant and permanent Resi-
        of Solomon’s proverbs: “Wrath is cruel,   dent within. As we yield to the indwelling
        and anger is outrageous; but who is able   Holy Spirit, it will be impossible to gratify
        to stand before envy?” (27:4 KJV). The fol-  any fleshly desire (Gal 5:16), including
        lowing features of envy may motivate us  envy. The rottenness of the bones will be
        to recognize and remove all traces where  removed and replaced by the beautiful fruit
        the rot exists.                      of the Spirit. Confessing the sin of envy will
          First, envy denies your uniqueness. Saul  find cleansing through the blood of Christ.
        was unique among the Israelites (1Sa 9:2)  Contentment with the life God has given
        ¹ All Scripture references in this article are from   us will keep the enemy of envy outside
        the ESV unless otherwise noted.      where it belongs.

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