By Shane Stanford
Based on 1 Peter 2:1-10
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
`As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual houset to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
The sin of envy deserves more importance than we often give it because:
- We don’t readily admit to its presence in our lives,
- It’s one of the most destructive sins.
Envy is the secret, quiet sin that sits at the bottom and whispers to us that we aren’t good enough – it has a powerful effect on our lives and our identity. Proverbs 14 says envy “… rots the bones.”
It’s a spiritually-drive autoimmune disease that eats us up from the inside out as our priorities and our identity flip upside down.
Envy says to us that what someone else has is what we really need; the Gospel says that what God has given us is in Christ is enough.
Envy is the unsettledness that causes us to crave that which belongs to someone else and leads to an instability that shakes the foundation of our lives.
Four cures for envy from 1 Peter.
- Eternalize your life (1 Peter 2:1-3) Be nourished, like a newborn baby, by the things that give life. Refocus your priority and purpose on God and remember to Whom we belong.
- Remember our destiny. No matter what we think, God knows what’s happening inside us, He knows our destiny even when we don’t. We are not just our role, our job, our position in our family — we are God’s wonderful creations. That is our identity.
- Practice contentment. Accomplishments and materials goods are not the way to peace. We are only stewards of that which God has given us. We are all equal at the foot of the cross – our contentment is not found in what we accomplish, but in what has been accomplished for us through Christ.
- Become cheerleaders for one another. We cannot be all that God has called us to be when we long for what He has given someone else. We have a choice: Be consumed with something that is sweet, but ends in bitterness, or rejoice with others in their joys and triumps.
If you missed yesterday, you can listen to the sermon audio on our website.