BE GRATEFUL, NOT REGRETFUL
Ecclesiastes 6:9b GN
In order to overcome envy, you and I need to rejoice in what we have. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, you should be grateful for what you do have. Your “wants” will pale in comparison when you realize that what you already have is more than enough.
Too often we think, “I have this, but if I get more, I’ll be even happier.” That’s just not true. We are taught to be discontent, but we don’t have to be if we focus on what good things we already have.
Does that mean we’ll never have a hard time handling the success of other people? Of course not! We all do from time to time. In fact, human instinct will always cause us to ask, “Why did that person get a promotion when I didn’t?” or “How come they’re having a wedding and I’m still single?” or “Why do they get to go to Europe and we have to pay for braces?”
Let me clarify this: Envy is not having desires, dreams, or ambitions. You can have desires, dreams, or ambitions without being envious of others. Envy is when you resent others who already have the things you hope to have or who have achieved the things you hope to achieve. Envy is believing you can’t be happy until you get those things.
Envy is based on a myth: I must have more than you to be happy!
Talk About It
- Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Instead of complaining, remember that everything is a gift! How will the following Scripture change your life? “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need!” (1 Corinthians 4:7-8 MSG)
- Write: “I already have more than I deserve!” Talk about the meaning of that statement with a friend.
- Envy asks, “Why them?” Gratitude asks, “Why me?” Which question do you tend to ask?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.