THE CANCER OF SPIRITUAL ENVY
Unfortunately, the mentality of “it’s not fair” is not just in the world, it is rampant in the church. Folks look at other people’s blessings, abilities and relationships within the church and envy sets in.
While many of the spiritually envious are pew-sitters who should turn off “The View” and get in the trenches with the rest of us, some are not. Some are actively involved in ministry. Their problem? A righteousness mentality.
You see, Jesus told us the two greatest commands are “love God, and love people.” Boom! That’s the formula. However, many churches have wandered away from the second part of that command. They preach “love God, be righteous” without even realizing it! The consequences of this mentality can be devastating.
While righteousness is something we should strive for internally, it can also become a yardstick we use to beat ourselves and others up. If you’re measuring your blessings, abilities and relationships based on the yardstick of righteousness, you will begin to judge and hate other Christians for having more or less than you. It can also lead to bitter gossip and spiritual pride. Believe me, the devil loves that. The book of James says he invented spiritual envy:
“But if you have bitter envy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual and devilish. For where envy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work.” – James 3:14-16
Spiritual envy, especially measuring yourself and others by your perceived righteousness, is an ugly cycle from the devil himself. Don’t let yourself go there. Do NOT compare yourself to others.
From my book: Soul Invasion