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Summary: An attitude of envy can be a destructive force in any life. Envy is a serious danger, for it can make us unclean & unspiritual & rob us of our salvation. It is not a desirable trait to have in our lives. (Powerpoints Available - #349)

MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com & request #349

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Last Sunday, in my sermon "Love Is Kind" I said, "The Apostle Paul comes close to being the composer of a great love song in 13th chap. of 1 Corinthians. In it he pictures perfect love ? ideal love, & describes how love ought to be."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

ILL. I read a story not long ago about a girl in the 2nd grade who had collected a fair amount of money from the "tooth fairy."

Her name was Rachel, & every time she lost a tooth, her mother put it in an envelope, placed it under Rachel's pillow, & lo & behold, in the morning the tooth was gone & in its place was $2. That was great!

At least it was, until one day Rachel was visiting a friend who told of putting her tooth under a pillow & finding $10 the next morning.

Suddenly Rachel was no longer content. Her friend's $10 was a whole lot more than her $2. So she asked her friend’s mother, ‘Would you please call my mom & tell her which tooth fairy you use?’”

APPL. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:6 that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." But this little girl had lost her contentment. Why? Well, Paul warns that “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap…." (1 Timothy 6:9)

I. WHAT IS THIS “TRAP"?

What is this “trap" that can rob us of our contentment? It's called "envy." The little girl had gotten $2 a tooth. That’s a lot of money to a child. But suddenly, she was no longer happy. Why? Because her friend had gotten $10 for her tooth. Now $2 was no longer enough.

ILL. I recently read an interesting item about SW Airlines. For nearly a year after the tragedy of 9/11 all passenger airlines experienced a drastic drop in their number of passengers & their income. It was so bad that most airlines were either declaring bankruptcy or on the verge of doing so.

Southwest also experienced a big drop in passengers & income, but it was the only big airline that was still showing a profit..

So while other airlines were cutting expenses, laying off employees, struggling to survive, SW’s employees were relatively secure in their jobs.

But workers in one of SW's unions threatened to strike for higher wages. Why? Because employees in another airline that was going bankrupt made more per hour than they did.

These union workers were not content with their job security because others, on the verge of losing their jobs, were getting higher wages than they were.

You see, an attitude of envy can be a destructive force in any life.

Jesus says envy is one of the things that makes a man unclean. In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus said, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance & folly.

"All these evils come from inside & make a man ‘unclean.’"

James 3:14-15 says, "If you harbor bitter envy & selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil."

And Paul warned in Galatians 5:19-21, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity & debauchery; idolatry & witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions & envy; drunkenness, orgies, & the like.

"I warn you ... that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

In other words, envy is a serious danger, for it can make us unclean & unspiritual & rob us of our salvation. It is not a desirable trait to have in our lives.

II. WHAT IS THE BASIS OF ENVY?

What is the basis of envy? The basis of envy is the belief that we deserve better than we’ve got.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 20:1-16, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day & sent them into his vineyard.

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