Summary: The 4th sermon in the series, "Untying What’s Tying You Up", this sermon deals with envy, examining what it is; how the Bible views it; what's at the root of it, and how to get untied from it.

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Untying the Knot of Envy

Series – Problems: Untying What’s Tying You Up

Chuck Sligh

May 5, 2013

NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request by emailing me at

ATTENTION: Although I have personalized this sermon to suit my style and some of my own illustrations, the basic structure of this sermon comes from Jeff Strite’s sermon titled “The Envy Trap” by Jeff Strite, which can found on

TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:6-10 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”


Opening Illus. – I read a story not so long ago about a second grader named Rachel who had collected a fair amount of money from the tooth fairy. Every time she lost a tooth, she’d put it in a small envelope and put it under her pillow and, behold, in the morning the tooth was gone and in its place was $2.00. That was just great because two dollars is a lot of money for a 2nd grader.

At least it was until, one day Rachel visited a friend of hers who told her how she had put her tooth under her pillow and found $10 the next morning. Rachel then asked her friend’s mother, “Mrs. Kraft, would you mind doing me a big favor? Would you please call my mom and tell her which tooth fairy you use?”

Paul tells us in verse 6 of our text that godliness with contentment is great gain. But this little girl had lost her contentment. Why?—Because she had gotten tied up by envy.

We’re in a series titled, “Untying What’s Tying You Up”—and envy has tied up and robbed more Christians of their joy and satisfaction in life than many things I know of. It’s one of the snares Paul hints at when he says in verse 9, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare [which literally means a ‘trap’].”

The word “snare” is an apt word to describe how envy can tie us up. The dictionary defines a snare as “A trap for catching birds or animals, typically one having a noose of wire or cord.” When an animal gets caught by the noose in a snare, it often gets more and more entangled and tied up the more it struggles against the snare. That’s what envy can do to you.

So today, let’s get a handle on envy and see how we can get untied from this snare.


The 2009 Random House Dictionary defines envy as “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.”

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