By Rick Hamlin
Prayer for the Green-Eyed Monster
Of all the seven sins, envy is the worst. I usually think of myself as the luckiest guy on Earth, richly blessed. That’s a good prayerful place to be.
Then I’ll read about some twentysomething billionaire or, worse yet, the fiftysomething first-time author with sterling reviews and bestselling numbers. Green with envy, I shout, “Why not me?”
Here’s the rule for this blog: If you think something, say it to God. So the shout turns into a prayer: God, why don’t you make me rich and famous like that guy?
If I’m patient enough, this is what I get back from God: “Look how successful you are already, Rick. Look at all the good things I have given you. Wishing to be someone else goes against my commandments, not just the one about coveting but also about stealing. Why steal someone else’s gifts when I’ve given you your own gifts?”
“I start envying everybody. Sometimes I even envy my best friends.”
“Do you envy your children?”
“Of course not; they’re family. I’m proud of them.”
“OK, Rick: Whenever you envy someone, think of them as family. They are all my sons and daughters, and what they have been given, you can take great pleasure in, because you share it as part of the human family. You can rejoice with them. All good news is worth celebrating.”
“I’ll try that, God.”
“In the meanwhile, read what Paul said: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control ... If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. Let’s not become arrogant, make each other angry or be jealous of each other.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
“Got it, boss.”