Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
— Proverbs 23:17
It’s tempting to admire rich and famous people who seem to have every pleasure in this world. They seem to have everything at their fingertips—money, fine food, adventurous travels, sleek cars and other toys, beautiful houses in beautiful places, power in business and politics. Don’t they have it all?
The Bible often cautions against having too much desire for the things other people have. That can lead to internal unrest that’s unhealthy for the soul.
Envy often involves not only a desire for something but also a demand that no one else should have it. And the sin of envy might tempt us to commit more sin in order to get what we want—to lie, cheat, steal, or even kill for it.
However, says the writer of our passage today, it is far better to pursue doing things God’s way. When we live God’s way, our future will be secure, even if it doesn’t seem exciting or extravagant by the world’s standards. In fact, when we are truly wise and in tune with God, we will have as much desire for God’s way as we might be tempted to have for the life of people who seem to have everything.
Provider God, give us our daily bread today, and help us not to be tempted to do anything sinful to get more. Amen.