The Insanity Of Envy

God is a satisfying portion. This world may fill a man, but can never satisfy him. Most have too much, but no one has enough. — Swinnock

Sometimes I struggle with envy. What’s insane about that is I have so much – a great wife, children and grandchildren.  I get to preach God’s word to a wonderful, responsive church and work with the best pastoral team that exists.  God has allowed me to write some songs that have blessed others. He’s granted me years of health.

Despite all this, I’ve envied the gifts and success of others.  Once when I shared with some pastors that I’d envied another man’s preaching one guy said, “But Mark, you probably receive more encouragement than anyone else I know.”  Owwww.

In Psalm 73, Asaph confesses how envy almost undid him:

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (2-3)

The wicked appeared to enjoy unadulterated, problem-free bliss.

They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. (5)

Asaph saw them arrogantly strut about mocking God yet growing richer.  As he envied, he spiraled downward. Until he considered things from God’s perspective.

Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. (17)

“I discerned their end.”  This world’s riches vanish at death.  All we enjoy here is a wisp, a breeze, soon gone.  In God’s mercy, the Psalmist realized the secret of contentment:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (25-26)

Envy springs from seeking satisfaction in anything but Christ. Contentment grows when God is our portion. So contemplate the end of the wicked.  Confess your envy.  Ask Jesus to be your satisfying portion.  And thank God for saving, forgiving, and adopting you and making you a joint-heir with Christ, crowned with every spiritual blessing.



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Mark Altrogge is the original triple threat: singer, songwriter, pastor. He has been the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA for over 25 years, and is the author of many well known worship songs such as “I Stand In Awe”, and “In The Presence”. When not pastoring or writing songs, Mark can be found consuming vast quantities of coffee. Unfortunately, Mark is not particularly gifted in the area of athletics.