“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18 (RSV)
Sometimes, it’s difficult to enjoy life when you look around and see other people enjoying life. They have the things you don’t have, but desperately desire. You get jealous. You let yourself think, “She has it all together, and she isn’t even a believer. Why does she have it so good while I’m barely hanging on?”
The tinge of jealousy can eventually become full-blown bitterness if you don’t keep it in check. As Christians, it’s important for us to remember this: God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45, RSV).
We all will struggle. And we’ll all have joy. God isn’t treating us unfairly when we experience pain and suffering; He’s treating us equally as human beings. But the difference between believers and non-believers is that those who don’t follow Him lack the future hope of heaven or a Savior to lean on. A life without Christ is more miserable than anything on earth.
The passage in Proverbs encourages us not to pay attention to the ungodly and their seemingly happy lot in life, but to focus on our walk with Christ and strengthening it — no matter what we’re experiencing. Our temporary desires will be fulfilled eternally in a perfect afterlife in heaven. That’s our hope, and that’s what we need to share to those who don’t yet know Him!
Dear Lord, forgive me for envying those who do not know You, because it is much better to struggle in life with You than to live life without You. Please give me the strength to continue on in You. Amen.
Who have you been jealous of lately? Instead of stewing in your bitterness, take some time to pray for this person. If he or she is an unbeliever, pray that they would find the hope found in Jesus!