Summary: A sermon series on the seven deadly sins.

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Virus: Hidden Infections of the Spiritual Life

Envy – Green w/ Envy

Review: We’re in a study of the (7) deadly sins – we’ve looked at laziness, lust, anger, and pride. This AM we’re going to examine the virus of envy. The Bible provides many examples of envy: Cain envied Abel so he killed him; Jacob’s sons envied Joseph, so they hated him and sold him into slavery; King Saul envied David so he threw a spear at him. It is as if every time envy appears in the Bible, we see deception, destruction, and violence fostered by a jealous sense of entitlement.

Note: Today, many people share this same jealous sense of entitlement. I think it is b/c our sense of self-worth is based on the possessions and accomplishments we’ve accrued. And in the instance someone else has accomplished or possessed more, we envy what they have gained wanting it for ourselves.

Insert: How else do you explain an 11 year old being beaten and strangled to death for a pair of Jordan Basketball shoes?

Note: Envy – we tend to think that there isn’t much too it, after all, everyone does it, but the Bible says that envy is a deadly toxin that will destroy your life.

Verse: It is healthy to be content, but envy will rot your bones. Pr. 14:30

Note: Now when we think of envy as a color we generally think of the color green. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Green w/ envy.” Some people may think they look good in green, but you never look good when you’re envious. No matter what shade it might be – from lime green to dark pea green, envy is always ugly. When you are envious, you’re really just gangrene w/ evil.

Text: Matthew 20:1-16

I The ROOT of Envy


Define: Envy – to have an evil eye – It is a sin that begins in the eyes and longs to possess what others have. It is jealous attitude that fosters disorder and chaos.

Verse: For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16

Word: Disorder – instability and irrational – envy rots your reasoning process. To the degree we’re envious we’re unstable and cannot make a good rational decisions. And as a result, envy ruins relationships.

Note: The most common destroyer of relationships and reason isn’t anger, frustration, pride, or lust – its envy. It rots your reasoning and ruins your relationships.

Note: Nothing good comes out of envy – it destroys everything in its wake – friendships, families, business, family business, churches b/c it fosters an entitlement mentality. It feeds on suspicion and assumption and it fuels gossip and slander. It often masquerades itself as being spiritual.

Note: Envy seeks to level the playing field – either “up” for self or “down” for others.

Note: The light green shade of envy is being jealous of someone else’s blessings thinking that they should belong to you instead. The dark green shade of envy is the attitude that says, “If I can’t have it then neither can they.” As a result, envy seeks to steal the blessings and joy of others so they can’t enjoy life.


Note: How does envy get started? How is it planted, nurtured, and harvested?

1 Resenting God’s Goodness

Note: When we’re envious, we’re really in a battle w/ God. B/c envy resents God’s decision to bless someone w/ something we want or think we deserve.

Note: Envy w/ people is the fever while anger w/ God for not giving it to us is the infection. Envy is resenting God’s goodness to others. You have it – God gave it – and I don’t like it – that’s envy.

2 Making God’s Business Our Business.

Text: I can guarantee this truth: When you were young, you would get ready to go where you wanted. But when you’re old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will get you ready to take you where you don’t want to go." Jesus said this to show by what kind of death Peter would bring glory to God. After saying this, Jesus told Peter, "Follow me!" Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved. That disciple was following them. He was the one who leaned against Jesus’ chest at the supper and asked, "Lord, who is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus said to Peter, "If I want him to live until I come again, how does that concern you? Follow me!" Jn. 21:18-21

Note: Jesus has just finished forgiving Peter of his betrayal and denial and before the conversation is finished, Peter is comparing his fate w/ John’s fate. From the beginning, the disciples were always jockeying for position trying to see who was going to be Jesus’ main man. At one point, James and John mother pleaded w/ Jesus to give her sons the royal treatment. Yet here Peter receives the news that he will one day surrender his life on behalf of following Jesus and all he can do is ask, “Well what about John?”

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