Genesis 4:4-5 (NKJV) Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
If you want to be a miserable person, then be an envious person. It is not necessarily a bad thing to admire something that someone else has. When we say, “I envy you. You are going on vacation,” we aren’t necessarily using envy in the worst sense of the word. That’s not the destructive kind of envy we often experience.
However, to share some insight, envy is in my understanding can be destructive when someone else has something that you don’t have and it causes serious anger. A literal definition of the word envy is “a malignant or hostile feeling.” So it is not a matter of saying, “You have a lot. Wow, that is really great! I wish I had that!” Rather, it’s an attitude that says, I am actually angry with you that you have those things and I don’t have them. Do you have strands of Envy in your personality?
Envy has been described as a small-town sin; it breeds on proximity. We don’t tend to envy someone who is famous and successful. Instead, we envy our neighbors, a relative, or a coworker. We are fine as long as we are all equal, as long as we are all on the same playing field. But if one begins to succeed, if one gets an opportunity we think we should have had, if one has something wonderful happen, we become envious.
We don’t know exactly what caused Cain to murder his brother Abel, but I think it is safe to say that envy and anger played a part. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, and Cain’s was not. Envy unchecked can become a major problem, and Cain’s envy led to murder. Cain was not in a constructive relationship with God, so he became destructively enslaved by the Devil.
Point to ponder- Shakespeare called envy the green-eyed monster, and it’s a green-eyed monster that can strangle you. If you allow yourself to be an angry person, you will give the Devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27) just as Cain did, and you will face the repercussions in your life as well.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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