From the earliest time of biblical history, envy was a problem for mankind. Cain envied his brother Abel for receiving God’s blessing. King Ahab of Israel envied another man’s property (1 Kings 21). And the Jewish leaders envied Jesus and His popularity, and later envied the disciples because the crowds were responding to their message about Jesus. In all these cases, the sin of envy or coveting led to murder. No wonder God included covetousness in the Ten Commandments: “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17).
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are not to set our desires on anything that belongs to someone else. Envying others and their possessions is a pointless exercise for Christians. Why?
Because God has already promised to provide everything we truly need. Like the apostle Paul wrote, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)—not out of His riches, but “according to His riches.”
God’s riches are limitless, and therefore His provision is limitless. Each day remember to purposefully think about what you do have and be thankful. And stop thinking about what you don’t have. Don’t fall into the world’s trap of envying others. Trust in God’s limitless provisions. Pray and strive to be content.
Eternal Father, before time You were, and You are, and You will always be. You have no needs and are totally sufficient. I need Your help to know that I am sufficient in Your sufficiency. Yet I admit, in my sinfulness I often covet what others possess. Whether it is health, appearance, education, fame, or fortune, in times of spiritual weakness I envy others.
Help me eliminate envy and constantly be thanking You for what I do have. Lord, I know that You have already granted to me all that is necessary for life. I am blessed with the greatest possessions of all—an intimate knowledge of You and Your Son, Jesus, and eternal life. I praise You that You are my shepherd and that with Your sufficient daily provision, I shall want for nothing. Amen.
Prayers for a Woman’s Heart (BRAND NEW!) is filled with this and other devotions and prayer to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace!
“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)
Pause right now and give thanks to God for five things in your life.