Envy, Jealousy, and Thankfulness
Some of the blessings of our modern information-rich world bring with them overwhelming exposure to the stumbling blocks of envy and jealousy. A real community discussion must start with us all admitting and taking the posture that we each are snared by envy and jealousy, sometimes even toward those brothers and sisters we are sharing this time with right now.
- Discuss the various ways our culture tempts us to envy.
- More specifically (as a group or in pairs) confess to one another the specific way(s) you are currently snared by envy or jealousy, realizing it is God’s kindness and grace that has made you aware of your sin and need for change.
- Read God’s warning to Cain in Genesis 4:6-7. How is sin personified in this verse? In light of the predatorial nature of sin, determine to ask a group member, spouse, or close friend how they see envy or jealousy as a snare to you. We desperately need one another to identify areas of sin in our lives that we often cannot see ourselves.
- Review Proverbs 14:30. Contrast the end results of a tranquil heart (heathy and Godly desires) to that which envy produces. How does each opposite affect our relationship with those around us?
- Review Proverbs 27:4. What two things does God list as less destructive to relationships than jealousy? Does this surprise you? Discuss how this truth played out in the life of Saul in I Samuel 18.
- Discuss how jealousy uniquely destroys our confidence and joy in the very areas where we have gifts and passions.
- Our holy, righteous God says he is jealous. What passion/desire of his does his jealousy display? How does it benefit our souls when our heart’s condition assuages his jealousy?
- Read Proverbs 23:17-18 and discuss the only cure for jealousy – how looking back at the provision of the gospel and looking forward to our hope in the gospel brings a present thankfulness.