Just a quick post to share a few fabulous resources with you.
I’m currently reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World Study Guide: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver and highly recommend it. I have the print copy but I noticed that the Kindle version was $7.99 today, down from $12.99, in case you were planning to read it this year.
I’m on a chapter dealing with how Satan tries to discourage us during our lives, paralyze our growth, disqualify our ministry and stunt any future exploits for the Lord. He does it by getting our focus on our circumstances and off of the Lord by using several “D’s” including distraction, discouragement and doubt. I’d also add discontentment to that list.
She shared this story on page 17 that I’ll half paraphrase, half quote about a priest who was serving quietly in his little parish, loving his people and enjoying an effective ministry. All was going well, so much so that Satan decided to send some demons to pester him and derail his ministry. They tried and tried but to no avail. Defeated, they returned to Satan for his expert advice.
“We’ve tried everything,” the demons explained, listing their efforts. Satan listened then offered this advice. “It’s quite easy, ” he hissed. “Bring him news that his brother has been made bishop.”
The demons looked at one another. It seemed too simple. They had expected something more diabolical. But it was worth a try.”
The story goes on to say how the old priest had not taken the news well. The man’s former joy had been turned into moping, grumbling and gloom. In time, his once vibrant ministry was destroyed by the sin of ENVY.
Envy looks at what you have and then compared it to what another has. We see it in kids all the time and unfortunately it’s a sin that stays with us into our adult years, robbing us of joy.
Some resources for you:
This wonderful free ebook, The Snare of Compare, and this post entitled Sinful Comparison: A Pain in the Neck that at the bottom links to a wonderful video talk given by Carolyn Mahaney on her ebook the Snare of Compare. I hope it’s helpful as you continue to grow in grace and as you strive to be more like Christ.
Some helpful insight on an envious heart:
“[Envy] looks like Joseph’s brothers and Potiphar’s wife plotting to destroy a righteous man; it looks like Haman trying to frame Mordecai; and it looks like the Pharisees seeking to kill Jesus… It looks like Jacob conniving to steal the birthright from Esau; it looks like Rachel begrudging Leah her children; it looks like Peter pointing at John and asking Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
[Envy is] frustrated self-exaltation fueled by animosity, resentment, and defensiveness.
Envy is acquisitive, resentful, and selfish; it is always bad. It wants what others have simply because they have it, bears grudges against those who have what it doesn’t, and accuses God of being unfair.” ~Carol J. Ruvolo, Tabletalk
“How much of hell is there in the temper of an envious man! The happiness of another is his misery; the good of another is his affliction. He looks upon the virtue of another with an evil eye, and is as sorry at the praise of another as if that praise were taken away from himself. Envy makes him a hater of his neighbor, and his own tormentor.” ~Nathaniel Vincent, A Discourse Concerning Love
“Envy is a spirit of dissatisfaction or opposition to the prosperity or happiness of other people.” ~Jonathan Edwards
*linking to an article does not mean a blanket endorsement. As always, read with discernment.