“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not…” James 3:14a (KJV)
For those of us that are contentious of our personal hygiene and presentation, we probably spend a significant amount of time each day preparing ourselves (our bodies) for the day’s activities. Whether our plans include work or visiting our house of worship, we went into preparation mode.
For instance we may have put our “smell good on” (perfume or cologne). Or someone might tell you that you’ve “had a beat down” or “your face is beat” when your makeup application is absolutely flawless. Perhaps you even pressure-cleaned your pearly whites. Each of these procedures or beauty rituals introduces chemicals or toxins, also known as poisons, to your body.
Are you aware that the beauty and personal care product industry is beset with a boatload of poisons? All these products we purpose to put "on" us can be as poisonous and on many occasions worse than the foods that we eat. Routine rituals that promote the products we use to look our best may also be the leading source of aging and health challenges. This is because most deodorants, toothpastes, lotions, soaps, hair products, fragrances and cosmetics are full with poisonous chemicals. I encourage you to pray and educate yourself and examine your hygiene habits.
Now I invite you to transition with me from the external to the internal. There is another poison that is connected with our perspective which is inseparable from our mental, emotional and spiritual position with God and our fellow man. You know, when we believe the grass looks greener in somebody else’s yard (life): envy. Envy is defined as a painful or resentful awareness and attitude of covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success and possessions.
Envy, jealousy and covetousness are all cousins of carnality. Our deceitful hearts (see Jeremiah 17:9) directs us to be discontent with what we have. As a result, we want what other people have because we think that what they have is better than what we have. This is also connected to a rebellious root of resentment towards a real or imaginary enemy. Consequently we covet people's power, positions, possessions, personalities and promotions.
As people of God not only should we prohibit and push away from this poison of envy but also pray to God for His provision and power to protect us from this poison. Here is what the Psalmist prayed about the ruling and seductive influences of the internal poisons of envy, pride and covetousness. He called them presumptuous sins.
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” Psalms 19:13 (KJV, emphasis added)
Let’s do some personal inventory. Are you aware if the poison of envy is in your life?
Join me again next week as we examine the poison of envy and what the Scriptures state about the habit of poisoning ourselves.
For the Glory of God,