Follow Up to Why Did Cain Kill His Brother?

Our UpWord Glance for this past Monday ended with these words:

We offend God when we burn with envy over someone else’s success. Unlike Cain, we must learn to “master it” when it comes to envy. If we feel envy rising up inside us, we should begin “to do what is right” …to speak well of that person to other people, and do good to that person and pray for them.  We can overcome envy or perhaps it is better to say:  We must “master” envy!    

A dear brother in Christ sent me this note regarding this devotional:

“Wow a tall order! I did a search about what the Bible says about envy which led me to judging. So, I prayed about not judging or being envious of others. Not so much that I wish I could be like others, but that they would be more like me. How conceited of me. I try not to judge others but it seems I wake up and start making judgements immediately. Check email, judge someone. Turn on the news, judge someone. Think about my day or yesterday, you know what happens. I pray today that I leave the judging to God and let Him control my mind and heart. Thanks for sharing and have a Blessed day.”

His words jumped off the page for me as I read: “I prayed about not judging or being envious of others. Not so much that I wish I could be like others, but that they would be more like me. How conceited of me.” Envy and judgmentalism are two aspects of spiritual warfare that seem to attack us like swarms of flies.

For some of us, especially me, the struggle with my thoughts is usually not about someone else’s success. I tend to rejoice with the success of others. However, in pealing back what really goes on inside me, this dear brother nailed it. My struggle is with my own pride in wanting others to be more like me; to think more like me; to have more of the same values as me…the list just goes on and on. Indeed, “How conceited of me.” The truth be known: God forbid that anyone should be like me!

At first glance, it is easy to dismiss this as not being me. Yet, when I thought back over the years of people that I really struggled with, it boiled down to me wanting them to change…to be more like me. Indeed, this is an issue that needs attention. It is part of the battle that rages and one that must be mastered as it seeks to master us. When the “flies” of envy or judgmentalism begin trying to enter our minds, may we swat them away and say firmly: “NO!”

By your prayers…as we continue our Journey,

Fr. Stephen 

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