“Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. … Do not fret because of evildoers. Do not envy the wicked; for the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will go out. … Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of a gift never given. … Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 24:1-4, 19-20; 25:14, 25
Envy means to want what someone else has or to be resentful of others’ blessings, talents, and gifts. It causes us to become obsessed with what we don’t have; resistant and closed to what God wants to give us. Refusing to be open to God’s fresh movements causes us to become stagnant, stale, and sour with life and toward others. Through prayer, God liberates us from the destructive power and grip of envy by transforming, liberating, and empowering us for kingdom living. The barriers are broken and we can grow and experience God’s new opportunities and unlimited possibilities. -Wesley Study Bible pg 785
The well-known “Serenity Prayer” captures ancient values. What is wisdom? It is the ability to “know the difference” between what must be accepted serenely and what can be changed courageously. It is the prayer of anyone who feels deeply the complexity of responsibility and the limitation of selfhood. The trouble is that only hindsight is 20/20. How wise Solomon was to build the temple – but how unwise he was to place the burden solely on underprivileged non-citizens. Profound worship cannot be founded on social inequity. Jesus will be wiser than Solomon – with the courage to change everything. -Wesley Study Bible pg 527
As a part of the Body of Christ (the Church Universal), a member of a local out-post of the Body of Christ (local-church) how do I/you/we live out our membership responsibilities? Do we fight and struggle and quarrel our way to in-mobilizing traction or do we spread the good news of Christ with others? Are we fighters are lovers, doers of good or bringers of harm? Are we empty braggarts or fruitful disciples? Puffed up and boastful always gathering in, holding on and never sharing or…are we humble servants who give generously, serve happily and reach out intentionally? Do we offer a cold drink of water or throw water on the fire? Are we helping build the Kingdom of God by going out and inviting others to come, by sharing the love of Christ; or are we inside pleasing ourselves slowly dying away? Wise or envious? Am I growing in Christ-likeness or polishing my self-image? O God that I may wise in you, each and every moment!