As part of my current Bible reading plan, I am in the book of Proverbs. I recently read a verse that gave me a chance to reflect on how much spiritual fruit God has graciously brought about in my heart over the course of this trial of infertility.
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot (Prov. 14:13).
I remembered how, a year or two ago, this verse arrested my attention. Jealousy of friends who were pregnant or had children was a daily struggle at the time, and this verse helped me to see how very serious my sin was. It also aided me to choose what to think when those moments of temptation to envy surged. I mean, given the options of rotting bones or life-filled flesh, the decision is pretty obvious! The words of this verse spurred me on to pursue the tranquil heart that comes from trusting God even when other people’s pregnancies and babies lay like large fallen trees across my trail.
Reading this verse again encouraged me so much, to see how the Lord has given me grace to put the sin of envy to death. I certainly haven’t attained a heart perfectly free of the green monster. But I have gradually learned to tune out the voice that says I should resent my friends for having the blessings I want and to tune in to the glorious channel that broadcasts the blessings I have in the gospel. I am so grateful for this more peaceful state!
Earlier this week, I was emailing with a friend about the sin of jealousy, and I was reminded of a couple of resources (in addition to the Proverbs verse) that have helped me in the battle. One is a post from the GirlTalk blog, “A Battle Plan for Fighting Envy.” The other is an article from Tim Challies’ blog, “When the Critics Rave, I Weep” (this one is loaded with excellent quotes). I thought I’d share these links today as an encouragement to anyone else who is fighting jealousy along with me.