We had just met and already I found her life to sound so interesting. She lives near a fabulous metropolitan area, yet her home is in one of those quaint little villages in the northeast. The night before she flew to Florida, she took the train into the city to attend an art exhibit, she is a successful author, and seems to be as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.
Stories of her neighbor who is a famous female TV personality were fascinating. Soon I found myself wondering, wouldn’t it be fun for just a short while to trade places with her…what a grand life she leads!
We were eating dinner at her sister’s house, celebrating Christmas with my church’s small group. Over coffee my new found friend, who I will call Carrie, shared a story about window shopping last week in their charming township. Peering into the stores, Carrie began to wonder what life must be like for her famous neighbor. Soon it went from just wondering what it would be like to live in her shoes, to almost wanting those shoes…to live her life. Curiosity had turned to envy.
Walking into a deli for a sandwich, Carrie could not get this person off of her mind. Standing in line to order her sandwich, the desire to live a life of fame and fortune began to overwhelm her. Soon she noticed the atmosphere in the shop had become electric…the owner was nervous, the other servers were jittery…almost scared. Wondering why, Carrie began to scan the room, as she turned around she found herself face-to-face with the person she envied…the TV personality. However, it was not the face from the TV screen, of someone who lives an ideal life, but a scowl – a face filled with dejection, anger, and misery…it was that face that was causing fear in the shopkeeps. Carrie had envied a life that she thought was a picture of utopia but in reality it was one of despair.
God had provided her this encounter. He also provided me a lesson through Carrie…although she is a wonderful person, God wants both of us to find our own joy in life through Him and not waste our time peering through the windows.
Proverbs 23: 17-18, Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God. That’s where your future lies. Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.
Where does your future lie? Are you spending time wishing to be someone else? Being famous or having a fortune will not satisfy your soul; only knowing Christ and having your identity in Him will bring you peace. Don’t let envy rob your joy.