Envy’s Slippery Slope (cont'd)
As we read further in Psalm 73, Asaph continues to list the evils he observed as the wicked persisted in their ways. They not only did evil and boasted of it, but the progress they made as they went was indisputable. Their riches and material wealth were undeniable. The world’s age-old adage, “You cannot argue with success.” seems most appropriate here. The fact that countless people, from ancient times through to this present day, have been enticed to walk like the wicked… to “turn to them and drink up waters in abundance,” in the hope of enjoying life’s riches, speaks to sin’s allure. And like the wicked, they too have made the erroneous assumption that they have somehow escaped God’s detection and escaped sin’s web… sin’s consequences. Asaph does not struggle with the allure of sin and wickedness. These have no attraction for him. But he struggles and is angered by the fact that the wicked are carefree; they do not get what their evil deeds merit. He struggles because he has been faithful… has remained faithful to no apparent avail. He has kept his heart pure and his hands clean, innocent yet he is heavily burdened in life as though he was a wrongdoer.
Here is where Asaph, and now we, must proceed with caution. Here is where envy’s slippery slope can be our undoing. To envy or be envious means to have intense feelings of anger or ill-will toward another, based on one’s perception of the benefits, advantages, or perks that another unworthily enjoys. For the faithful, such feelings are further intensified when it appears that the one experiencing all the benefits is living a burden-free life, without consequence for their wrongs. They are healthy and good-looking. They are living a life that is painless and problem-free with no regard for anyone else, and with utter disdain for what is good, right, and just. It is necessary for us to evict envy from our hearts, turn our attention… our focus back to the walk and way to which the Lord has called us. Then, we will regain our footing.
Let Us Pray
Lord God, free my spirit. Emancipate my mind, heart, and emotions from envy’s hold. Help me to fix my focus on you, so that I always live a life that is pleasing to you. Your faithfulness is beauty to me. It means more than life itself. And, because I am yours… your child created in your image, I will continue to look to you, and I will follow in your ways.