Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wrong Envy

Wrong Envy
October 24, 2011
Psalm 73:3 "For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

All of us have envied someone else's life. We want what they have, the life they lead. Their lives, though possibly not Christian-like, look so much more appealing. We see their houses, cars, and lifestyle, and long for their possessions. They may not have a relationship with the Lord, but they still have so much of what we want. It is natural to pine after their lifestyle; after all, it is a life lived in the flesh, satisfying the desires of self. Desiring someone else's life is not a modern phenomenon; this problem was written about thousands and thousands of years ago by a particular Psalmist. He went through a period of looking at the way others lived and truly coveted their lifestyle, despite how they gained it all. It seemed their ways paid off. They weren't God-fearing people, but they certainly lived a life of luxury.

Thankfully, the Psalmist thought it through, truly pondering the envy he felt. He went full circle through the emotions of desiring what others had and realized they had everything in life--except for the Lord. The godless might have fame and fortune, but if they don't have a relationship with the Lord, they don't have anything. We envy those who have a fortunate lifestyle, but seldom do we envy those who have an amazing relationship with the Lord. When was the last time you looked at someone and thought you might like to have their same level of intimacy with the Creator of the Universe?

When the Psalmist finally realized the error in his thinking (for envying the lifestyle of the godless), he called himself ignorant and stupid. He was then filled with thanksgiving when the Lord was still willing to have a relationship with him, despite envying the wrong things in this life. He came to the understanding that if he had the Lord, then he had everything he could truly want in life. The Psalmist said it was refreshing to be in the presence of a tender God who led him wisely and blessed his life with good things from above, regardless of how others lived.

Oh, that we would all come to the same understanding and realization in life. Knowing and believing that the Lord is all we need. A relationship with the Heavenly Father is all that we could ever want. The godless might have a luxurious lifestyle here on Earth, but they will die without the Lord. And after they are gone, their money and fame will not be able to redeem them from Hell. An eternity with the Lord is far more desirable than a few years of pleasure on this earth. While it is not good to desire anything someone else has, it IS good to desire a relationship with the Lord. Think it through and realize what others have, no matter how amazing here on Earth, cannot compare to the majesty of the Lord of Hosts (who, incidentally, wants to be yours on a personal level).

Read the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 73 and see if you can relate to his thinking. Then see if you can come to his same realization: that you already have EVERYTHING if you are in the presence of the Holy One. It will change your day, knowing you have all you need when you have Him. Spend the rest of the day in His presence and see if you aren't fulfilled.

(This Psalmist's name was Asaph, who was the director of music under King David. It is believed David contributed to the thought behind the text while Asaph put it to music.)

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Psalm 73

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