Envy is a sin of the soul. It is in the same genre as bitterness, jealousy and maybe hatred, so I’m going to be dealing with them together in this post. They are all sins of the soul.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked…Later, Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. ”
~John 5: 2-9, 14
I think that the sin of the man by the pool of Bethesda — the one Jesus asked him to stop — was the sins of envy and bitterness.
The man’s statement
‘Sir’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’
Can you detect the bitterness and envy in his tone?
His response was that of an embittered and envious man. Bitter people talk about rejection; nobody cares about me. He was infested with bitterness, probably towards members of his family. Maybe they refused to help him. Maybe they were treating him badly. Something was going on in his life that made him very negative towards men.
I have no one: Whenever you see someone with this sort of isolationist attitude towards people, you’re probably looking at an envious and bitter person. Envy and bitterness cut you off from people.
Then he said, ‘While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’
You can’t mistake that stench of envy. The envious are pained that others get what they don’t have. They blame the success of other people for their own failures.
The man allowed the sin of envy and bitterness to get hold of him and paralyze him. Check your life today, and make sure that envy isn’t ruining your life.
Job 5: 2
“Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.”
Heavenly Father, please deliver me from every sin of envy, bitterness, jealousy, and hatred that is lurking anywhere in my soul, in Jesus’ name.