Summary: Introductory Consideration 1.
1. "Its not fair, Tommy gets to stay up till 8 o’clock and I have to go to bed at 7:30, and he’s younger than me. I wish I had his parents."
2. "I wished I looked like she does. She’s so popular."
3. "Man, do I ever wish that I could play hockey like he does!"
4. "Did you see the new car Bob got, what a beauty! It must have cost him a bit. Someday I hope I can afford a car like that."
5. "Why can’t you be more like Rita’s husband, he’s so good at woodworking and making things.Why can’t you make things like he does?"
6. "Everything seems to be so easy for them. God seems to bless them so much. It doesn’t seem fair"
7. "I wish I could sing like he does."
8. These are the kind of thoughts that go through the minds of all people, even Christians. They seem harmless. They may even motivate us to try harder to achieve or be better people.
9. Its natural to compare ourselves to others and then, of course, we want to have some of their good traits or abilities. The problem is that when we feel this way, we are being envious.
1. Envy is the third of the deadly sins.
2. As I said, it is so natural. I don’t believe there is a person here he does not struggle with envy. And if you don’t think you do, listen carefully, and I believe that as you do, the Holy Spirit, will convict of this grievous sin.
3. Envy is much like greed. Some of things we said last week relate to envy.
a. But there is a difference. Greed has to do with material possessions, with tangible things -and wanting them more and more. Envy is much wider - it often has to do with the intangible .
b. Dictionary defines envy as a "painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with the desire to possess the same advantage.
4. To see how envy works we look at the passage we just read. In this passage we meet 11 brothers, or 10 since Benjamin was quite young who were filled with envy. They were resentful of Joseph.
a. He was the second youngest of 12 and he was loved more by his father than any of the others. Why? Because he was born when Jacob was old. But more because he was the first son born to Jacob’s beloved wife, Rachel.
b. Jacob had a special place in his heart for Joseph. And he showed that love by making a richly ornamented robe for him.
c. Joseph did not help matters at all. He seemed to flaunt the fact that his father loved him more. He probably wore the robe all the time. He wore it when he was sent out to see how his brothers were doing.
5. Because Joseph was his fathers’s favourite, his brothers hated him deep within and they showed it outwardly by not being able to say a kind word to him.
6. There is an important teaching here about all the deadly sins. These sins are deep within us and affect our whole being. They can lie hidden for a long time but when certain, sensitive nerve is struck, they manifest themselves. But why do we have these deep sins? We can say that we are born in sin - it is part of our sinful nature. That is true, but certain things happen to us that lead us to sin.
a. The brothers were envious because of the favouritism their father showed to Joseph. I believe this favouritism was a sin. Paul says "Fathers, do not exasperate or embitter your children."
b. As parents we may relate to some of our children better. A mother and a daughter may share certain interests. But we must not let one child think they are loved more or the others that they are loved less. To do that we may be planting bitter roots in our children.
c. So many of our roots and their sins are the results of sins against us. The pride of a parent can be passed down to the children. I could give many examples of this, but the important thing is that we take care not to plant deep roots in our children or in others as well.
7. But that does not excuse us for our own deep roots. We may feel taught or led to sin, but how we respond is still our own responsibility.
8. But I believe that one proven way to pull out deep roots is to be aware of why they are there. Let’s use the sin of envy as an example. I have come across those in my ministry who are envious of others. They have the traits of envy that we will talk about in a few minutes. They envy others and do not feel very good about themselves. Amazing how often they share with me how they felt unloved or less loved then their siblings. "My bother was the one they loved, not me." "I was just a bother - they loved my sister so much more." By being aware of this we are able to understand our sin more. Not to excuse it.