Proverbs 27: King James Bible
Dangers of Envy – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty seven, Verse 4
4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – Dangers of Envy
In our last devotional, we spoke about a a fool’s wrath, rather than just regular wrath. What is above could be counted for the fool as well as anyone else. If we can understand the dangers of anger and wrath, we can better understand the dangers of envy, and why the Lord is bringing it up.
Wrath is cruel regardless of who is harboring it. People who do anything through wrath are usually people so full of regret that they know no other way to handle things. Anger and wrath is much easier to deal with than regret and pain. The only problem is, those will only continue to provide regret and pain. Kind of a vicious circle that the Lord would rather keep us out of.
He is the only one qualified to carry out wrath in the first place. In my opinion, that’s why any time we try to carry it out, we only do damage to others and ourselves, causing more reason to suffer and fixing absolutely nothing. But we learn above, that there is something even worse.
In other devotionals, we’ve spoken about anger and all of the things that can come from how we deal with or handle anger. A few that come to mind is called “Friends with Furious,” dealing with Proverbs 22:4, and “A Short Fuse,” discussing Proverbs 14:17-18.
In “A Short Fuse” we discuss the pitfalls of being an angry person, and why the Lord has made a way out for those of us who harbor an angry spirit or disposition. “Friends with Furious” talks about the Lord’s warning of learning the ways of such a person, and the stumbling blocks that get thrown in our way because of our associations with people who harbor anger. And yet, evidently, the Lord points us to something even worse…
We’ve spoken about envy in the past as well, and the only devotion that comes to mind is called “Evil Envy.” In there, we talked about the behavior of envying someone evil somehow or some way. But in the verse above the Lord left the term wide open.
Why are the dangers of envy being greater than those associated with wrath or anger? Envy is capable of walking hand in hand with pride, which is capable of allowing all forms of iniquities to set in, which would include anger and wrath.
Envy is like a slow drip that doesn’t go away, and gets worse through time. It causes people to do things in order to achieve one goal, which would be to feed that envious heart, regardless the cost. The dangers of envy can range from an impure thought and end in a murder, also being responsible for everything that transpires in between.
Though envy is closely related to pride, it really isn’t pride. It might be better described as jealous form of covetousness. To covet something someone has, is far less personal than envy. Instead of coveting something and leaving it at that (which is bad enough), you covet a thing but hold the person at a certain level of disdain who holds the thing you are coveting.
For example, instead of simply coveting someone’s vehicle in your heart, you covet the vehicle, and how dare that person be able to afford it when you deserve to have what he has instead! Most of the time (in my observations), when people talk all kinds of trash about the rich, it’s only because the trash talker is broke. This isn’t virtue signaling, it’s flat out envy.
The dangers of envy include a silent skill set that you won’t find with either anger or wrath. Envy can brood silently inside a person, going unspoken for years. If a person has a good enough poker face and keeps their mouth shut, they can go for quite some time harboring envy without anyone ever realizing it.
But like all iniquities, there comes a point where it will become all consuming. Until the iniquity is dealt with through the power of the Lord and the washing away through the water of the Word, it will fester like an itch that you will never be able to scratch.
The dangers of envy are every bit as prevalent to the one who harbors it, as it is to anyone who gets in the way of one’s envious desires. The Lord is directing our attention to this above, and for a reason. We need to be careful of the subtleties of envy, because those iniquities that don’t shout the loudest or cause a scene, are the ones that might slip past our spiritual radar, effecting how we operate in the service of the Lord.
Related New Testament Scripture
Romans 13: King James Bible
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Ephesians 5: King James Bible
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Galatians 5: King James Bible
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
James 3: King James Bible
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 4: King James Bible
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Thank you for your Word, and for the warnings you give us through it. Please search all of our hearts Father, and root out any form of envy that might be found. If there is any that has taken root, pluck it from us as a weed, and heal any wounds that it might have left behind. Please cancel any other iniquity that has been produced from envy, and forgive us for any sins (known or unknown) that has transpired due to this. Thank you Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever noticed that you don’t hear much talk about the dangers of envy?