We see in Proverbs 23:17 a great bit of wisdom, “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.”
I know that sometimes I look at those who are sinning and living large with a touch of envy. Not an envy of wanting to do what they are doing but an envy of wanting to have things like they have. One where I wonder why they are doing so good and I am plugging along barely making it.
I mean, after all, they are living in sin. They are not living for the Lord. They are wicked and evil in His sight. So, why are they blessed and I am barely making it.
Maybe you have felt that way too. Maybe you feel that way now. If so, that is why we must hold this Proverb near to us. We must not envy sinners but continue in the fear of the Lord. We must remain steadfast in our life in Him. He is the only real blessing and reason for life.
Also, if we become envious of those in the world and their worldly gain, we must remember that our blessings are in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). We have an inheritance there that cannot be taken away. Everything here is nothing more than a slight, momentary, and not comparable to the glory to come (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17).
When we envy sinners and what they have we are saying that this glory and inheritance is not good. We say that these people have it better than us. We say God does not know what is best for us.
Let us not be like that. Let us be thankful and send praises to God for what we do have. God has a reason and a plan. We just need to settle into that plan and honor Him daily rather than seek our gain.
We must remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus did not have anything but the rich man had everything. They both die just the same. The rich man who was a sinner not of God goes to hell but Lazarus a righteous man goes to heaven.
Here Lazarus had nothing of monetary value but in the end, he had everything. Whereas the rich man had everything here but nothing but torment in the end.
Let each of us strive for everything in the end rather than everything now. “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day” (Prov. 23:17).