Proverbs chapter 14, verse 30, says a tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. Let me say that one more time. A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. This picture of a tranquil heart, a content heart, a heart that is content with what one has, it gives life to our flesh.
But then this picture of envy that causes our bones to rot. The destructive power of envy of discontent of a wanting what others have. Just think about your life. Think about my life. I think about my tendency to compare myself to others, in so many different ways. To see somebody else and say, “Oh, I wish I had that.” Maybe it’s a possession, maybe it’s a particular gift. It could be so many different things, but we look at others and we say, “Oh, I would like this.” Or, “I would like that.” Or, “My life would be different if I had this, or if I had that.”
We are prone to envy, which is why we need God to grant
us contentment in Him.
Envy comes in so many different ways. And it is so destructive. The Bible teaching here that it makes our bones rot. We need to be guarded from all envy. We need a heart that’s tranquil. Don’t we all want a tranquil heart, and a peaceful heart, a content heart that’s not constantly caught up in the quest for more, or better, or this, or that, that we don’t have? This goes totally against the grain of our culture, which means we need to pray this, continually. So, God, we want tranquil hearts. We want peaceful hearts. We want content hearts.
We want to experience life in our flesh. We don’t want to be constantly looking to others to say, “Oh, we wish we had this or that.” God guard us from envy, we pray. Guard us from this constant temptation to compare ourselves with others; to size ourselves up with what we have compared with what others have, with a longing that so easily creeps into our minds and hearts for this or that. That we see in someone or something else. God make us content, we pray, with what you have given to us.
Help us to be peaceful in that, tranquil in that. And in the process to experience the life you have designed for us to experience. Guard us from envy. Grant us tranquil hearts today. We pray, in Jesus’ name, amen.