Posted: January 23, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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  • Big Idea: Either we kill sin or it kills us (Romans 8:13)
  • Fighting a grizzly bear. Removing the Blindfold.
  • Last week we talked about Pride – with the big idea that “We should spend our lives making much of God rather than making a name for ourselves.”
  • This week we move on to Envy.

Attention Funnel: Rivalries

  • In a rivalry, it’s not just that you hate losing, but you also hate your rival winning. You hate when they succeed.
  • “Envy is the feeling of unhappiness at the blessing and fortune of others.” –Joe Rigney
  • “Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else as unsuccessful as you are” – Frederick Buechner

Big Idea: Envy hates when other people are a big deal.

  • To look at Envy, we are going to look at the story of Saul and David.
  • Saul is the first King of Israel. He makes some really big mistakes along in disobeying God and as a result God says he is going to make someone else king.
  • David is a young man who we find out that God plans to make king. David is perhaps most famous for killing a giant named Goliath… we pick up the story of Saul and David soon after this happened.

Main Points:

  • Envy Compares.
  • Envy Cuts Down.
  • Envy Complains
  • Grace Crushes Envy.

Read 1 Samuel 18:6-9

  • Up until this moment, Saul had no problem with David. David is just a random shepherd boy who can play some mean harp solos.
  • But what happens… David kills a giant, some ladies start swooning over him, and all the sudden there is trouble. Why?
  • Because now Saul is comparing himself to David. It says after this Saul “eyed David from this day forward.”

Envy compares.

  • The Prestige – It’s not enough for Robert Angier Or Alfred Borden just to have a great magic trick. They have to have a BETTER trick then the other person and as long as they don’t it drives them crazy.
    • I’m guessing you don’t compare magic tricks, but what do you compare with other people?
    • Envy looks around and says, “I am not as _______________ as they are. And that makes me mad.” (Athletic, beautiful, smart, hard-working).
  • We usually compare close to home. In other words… we compare with people we would call our friends or people who are similar to us.
    • You don’t get upset that Steph Curry is a better basketball player then you. You get upset at the person who averages just a few more points than you do, and gets just a few more minutes than you do.
  • We compare close to home AND we compare to figure out our value.
    • Because I don’t draw the attention of boys like ________ does, I am not as important and valuable.
  • Who and what are you prone to compare yourself with?(Maybe give a second). I compare myself to other’s whose ministries are more successful than mine. I compare myself to people who have “better” degrees.
  • Answer this question and it will expose where you are envious AND what you look to too make yourself feel valuable.
  • What happens after we compare ourselves and feel envy towards someone? Back to our story…

Read 1 Samuel 18:10-11; 13-14; 18-25

  • What is Saul’s response? Pin him to a wall with a spear.
  • That doesn’t work. Alright, throw him back on the battlefield and hope he dies there.
  • That doesn’t work either. Alright, use one of your Daughters by offering her hand in marriage in return for… wait for it… on hundred philistine foreskins!
    • Just the classic love story… Girl likes boy… Boy thinks girl is attractive… Father asks for 100 Philistine foreskins.
    • Can you imagine if Taylor Swift was writing songs back them.
    • How do you think I managed to get Bri to marry me??
  • Why does Saul do this?
    • So that David will either get killed in the process or make the Philistines hate him so much that they seek revenge against him.
    • Saul thinks, “If I can’t be better than David, then I’ll kill him.”
  • More commonly envy just shows up in cutting people down to size.
  • I can still remember sitting down at lunch in High School one day in my sophomore year. I was sitting across from a friend named Seth and a girl I liked (who I also knew that he liked). He was wearing his medal that he had recently won for running cross country. He was talking about the year, how the team did, and winning the medal at Districts. The girl was clearly impressed… I was not. So I blurted out something to the effect of, “Wow, good job… you ran all year just so you could get some medal that you’ll probably never wear again.” I was such a good friend…

Envy Cuts Down.

  • Let me show you two ways Envy shows up in this area.
  • 1) Criticizing
    • “The only reason he has car like that is because mommy and daddy bought it for him. He’s never worked a day in his life.”
    • “The only reason guys like her is because she flirts with everyone and wears too much make-up.”
    • Where do you find yourself criticizing other people? Either in your mind or out loud?
  • 2) Ill Will (No that’s the hottest rapper’s new name)
    • This is when we secretly hope that something bad happens to another person (we would never say it in this way).
    • We are happy when something bad happens.
      • Someone breaks up and you think… good they had it coming.
      • Someone on your team gets injured… and you think, “They were cocky and a ball hog… they kind of deserved this.”
    • Or we are upset when something good happens to other people.
      • I watched this in my own heart as other people had kids and I didn’t. Every time I heard someone else was having a kid, it was a battle excited for them and not upset.
    • Where do you find yourself happy when others fail and upset when other’s succeed?
    • That’s how envy relates to other people… what about God?

Envy Complains

  • While Saul doesn’t outright blame God… I would argue that is what is behind his hatred of David.
  • God has not treated him fairly. He is taking the kingdom away from Saul and seems to be giving it to David.
  • In High School, I like many of you, worked at Market. I worked at Stoltzfus Meats serving people their cheese, ham, and pigs feet. And you end up having some very interesting customers. To serve customers you would ask them what they wanted and how much they wanted. And so if they said 1 lb of Swiss Cheese, I would grab a chunk of Swiss Cheese and put it up on the scale. And what I learned is there are some customers who are very picky… if they say one lb they mean nothing less or more. And if you ended up with just a fraction of a bit less or more, they would become frustrated… in effect saying I wasn’t doing a good job.
  • When we get envious, we in effect tell God he’s not doing a good job. We look around and see that what is on our scales doesn’t match up with what is on other people’s scales.
  • One definition of envy puts it like this: “Envy is dissatisfaction with our place in God’s order of creation, manifested in begrudging his gifts to others.”
    • What do you tend to complain about? That may show you where envy is an issue in your life.
  • This is where we see that envy will actually start to destroy you.
  • Envy will make your life miserable, and it will make you a miserable person to be around. Proverbs 14:30
  • So how do we fight envy? Here’s the summary with three specific weapons.

Grace crushes envy.

  • There is a very big difference between Saul and Jonathan (Saul’s son) in this story.
    • Saul envies and hates David, Jonathan love David. And when you think about Jonathan has more reason then Saul to hate David. Jonathan is in line to become the next king and yet it becomes more and more clear that David will be taking that spot.
  • Look at how Jonathan responds when Saul again decides to try to kill David.
  • Read 19:4-5
  • Jonathan sees how God used David in an incredible way. The way God is using David should be a reason to rejoice, not get angry. Jonathan sees in David a wonderful gift of God and because of that there is no room for envy.
  • Three weapons to wield in this fight:
  • Be amazed at God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10)
    • There is a difference between a 2 year old and a 3 year old at Christmas time. The 2 year is at a place where for the first time she can understand and open up a gift. And any gift at all blows their minds. They are so grateful because they don’t go into Christmas EXPECTING that everyone is going to give them gifts. But a 3-year-old comes into CHRISTMAS expecting that everyone is going to give her gifts. One gift is not enough, two is not enough, three is not enough, she is always looking for one more.
    • If we recognize that all that we have is truly a gift from God, and not something we have earned or deserve, we will be like the two-year old… amazed that God would give us any of this.
  • Rest in Identity God gives you in Jesus. (Isaiah 43:1-4)
    • Last week, we talked about how the gospel points out that we are losers… in desperate need of a Savior.
    • And the gospel also points out that we are loved and valued by God because of what Jesus did for us.
    • Look at Isaiah 43:1-4
    • If we truly believe that… there is no reason to feel inferior and less valuable when others succeed where we don’t.
  • Thank God for how he has blessed us and other people (1 Thessalonians 5:18-20)
    • Gratitude is such a great weapon against envy. Make a habit of thanking God for what he has given you (small and large). Envy has a hard time thriving when we are thankful.
    • And thank God for the ways he has blessed and gifted other people. What if you spent some time this week recognizing the good God has given to the people you secretly envy? That would begin to absolutely destroy envy.

 When we enjoy God’s gifts, we no longer care when other people are a big deal. We just see it as one more reason to make a big deal about God and how good he is.

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