Published 8:35 am Wednesday, December 7, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: My daughter is struggling with pride and defeat. I want to help her but I’m not sure how because I don’t blame her for envying her friends that seem to always have good success. — C.M.
Dear C.M.: Envy destroys a person from the inside out. Evil can slip in so easily. When we belong to God, we can ask Him to reveal sin in our lives and give us power to overcome jealousy and every other sin.
In ancient Greece, the citizens of a certain city erected a statue of a celebrated champion in the public games. But his rival was so envious that he vowed to destroy that statue. Every night he went after dark and chiseled away at its base in an effort to undermine its foundation and make it fall. At last, he succeeded. It did fall — but it fell on him. The jealous athlete died, a victim of his own envy.
Envy destroys our spiritual health, and it takes the joy out of living. Envy isolates us from both God and other human beings. No wonder God ranks envy on the same level as sexual immorality, idolatry, and drunkenness (see Galatians 5:19-21). We must recognize this devastating poison and get rid of it by confessing our sin to God and renouncing it.
God intends for us to have victory over sin, and when we don’t, it’s not because God’s power has failed. By His Holy Spirit, He is able to give us the power to live in obedience to Christ. But we need to do our part and, by prayer, depend on the Holy Spirit’s power. We also need to flee these things that God has labeled wrong. This is accomplished by the power of God. We must not depend on our own ability to fight sin, but ask God to fill us with His Spirit and truth.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)