Are we envied? Now that is an interesting question. And one, that at first glance, we feel is wrong. We should not envy so why would we want to cause envy. After all, we read in Galatians 5: 19-21 where it talks about envy being one of the acts of the sinful nature. And even in Galatians 5: 26 where after talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, it reads, “ Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
So why should we be envied? Why would we want to be envied? Paul talks about it in Romans 11:13-14 “ I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.” Many of the different translations use jealous instead of envy.
What do you think Paul was saying when he wanted the Gentiles to make the Jews envious or jealous? He wanted the Jews to envy what was in us because of Jesus Christ. He wanted them to envy us so much that they would become followers of Christ.
When the unsaved meet us, how should our lives be in order for them to envy us or be jealous of us for being a Christian? Or better put, how should we be living our lives, that makes people want to be like us?
If we can go back and read more of Galatians 5 it gives us a clear description of what type of person we should be and what our lives and actions should be, so that people would want to be like us. Let’s read Galatians 22-26. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Love, joy, peace, forbearance (which also means tolerance, restraint), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, now there are some goals to have. Imagine if everyday we focused on just having one of them. And once we were able to have that in our lives, we can focus on adding the next one. And before you know it, you would be living your life with all of those fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Remember these are fruits of the Holy Spirit, so when I say focus on having them, I mean praying and asking the Holy Spirit to let these fruits grow within you.
I think then people would envy you. And would want to be like you. And hopefully want to be so much like you that they ask “What is it with you. You are always up, you never have a bad word about anyone, and your such a loyal friend and gentle with everyone even when people wrong you.”
I know you may be thinking how would anyone see all of that in your life. Well the people you work with would and do. They see how you act everyday now. What do you think they are seeing now in you? Are you a light for the world? Do people see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in you?
If the answer is no, please don’t put yourself down. Instead, decide today to change. Pray to God for all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And practice using them. Focus on using them. Let me repeat that because it is of the utmost importance.
Practice and focus on using the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life. Let me explain. I read a story in a book called The Energy Bus, written by Jon Gordon, that explains this very clearly. The story went as follows: “A man goes to the village to visit with the wise man and he says to the wise man. ‘I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is the positive, loving, kind, and gentle dog and then I have this angry, mean-spirited, and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know which is going to win.’ The wise man thinks for a moment and he says, ‘ I know which is going to win. The one you feed the most, so feed the positive dog.”
Now that is powerful. So what are you feeding your mind and spirit? Are you daily feeding your minds by reading and studying God’s Word and praying for guidance, strength and for the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
And are you listening too? God will speak to you through his Word, the Holy Spirit, and by what your read.
In my opinion the really battle is with your thoughts. What are you thinking most of the time? Money, the lack of or something you want to buy. You job, that you want a new one or why someone else got the promotion instead of you. Things you want like why do others own a nice house and you are still renting?
Why do they other people have this or that and your don’t. I can come up with 1000’s of these, mainly because I said a lot of them for my life. I was always asking God why other people had such wondering lives. Great kids. Great jobs. Nice homes. And it was not just with worldly things. It was in my Christianity also. I would ask God why does He seem to always be giving revelations to other people but not me. Better yet, God why aren’t you talking to me or showing me the way I should go.
Let’s just think about those thoughts for a moment. Which dog do you think those thoughts are feeding? If you said the negative dog you would be correct. Do you see the connection with what you think and what you feed into your mind and spirit with is what will grow in your life? And what will be evident to everyone you meet, know and work with even be evident to your family.
You want to live and walk with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then feed yourself with the positive things we have been talking about. Grab a hold of God’s Word and don’t let it go. Read it. If certain scriptures seem to come alive to you, memorize them. Repeat them. Tell others about them. And then read them again and again.
I know a lot of Christians, who are wonderful people with a heart after God and so dedicated to their church but when I ask them how often do they read their Bible, they say “I know I need to read it but I don’t right now. I can’t seem to find the time”. And I ask them how often they pray, or if a couple, how often do they both pray together as a family. They again answer, “I know we need to but we just don’t seem to find the time.” Then after awhile, I will bring up one of the TV shows my wife and I watch and they will say, “Oh we love that show. Watch it every week. Or they record it to watch it later when they have time.”
Now I am not judging. In our family, we do the same thing. We record shows and watch them later. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, we are so diligent to record these shows that I have them programmed to record each week. So trust me when I say I am not judging about watching TV and making sure we always watch our favorite shows. But we have to have a balance in our life. We can watch those shows, but if we watch those shows and leave no time in our life for God’s Word or pray, then we are doing what? Exactly, we are feeding the wrong dog.
We need to feed the right dog. I promise you that if you daily spend time in God’s Word and if you pray alone, and with your family, the results will be noticed. By you and everyone around you.
I was going to say you would be envied. But there is still something that bothers me about using that word envied even though, in the context that I am using it, the Bible shows that we want to be envied for this.
I think a better way to put this is people will want what you have. They will see God as such a positive force in your life, that they will crave it. Desire it. And then ask you what is different about you. You then will get to have one of the greatest privileges in our lives, you will get to share Jesus Christ with them.
Again God’s Word always puts it better than any person or book. It reads in 2 Cor 2: 14, “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
I pray for all of us, that we will become the fragrance of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.