Envy and jealousy are the besetting sins of many Christians. We often find ourselves thinking, if not saying, “Not fair!” when we observe the prosperity of the wicked, while we give, sacrifice and struggle doing what is right! Like you, I sometimes find myself reasoning with God concerning justice and fairness.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers that God is a loving, benevolent Father who sends rain on the crops of the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:43-45). God is long-suffering and slow to wrath; however, His justice will prevail and the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished for their deeds (Galatians 6:7-9).
Solomon warned his son to not idolize the wicked.
Proverbs 24:1-2 – “Be not thou envious [don’t be provoked to jealousy] against evil [sinful] men, neither desire [long for; prefer] to be with them. 2 For their [evil men] heart [mind; thoughts; ] studieth [ponders; plots; plans] destruction [spoil; rob another], and their lips talk [threaten; declare; promise] of mischief [sin; trouble; sorrow].”
Hollywood glamorizes the sins of the wicked and portrays the lifestyles of the “A List” crowd as fun, fulfilling and rewarding. The glitz and glamor of stars, rock musicians, politicians and professional ballplayers has become the fantasy of a society that refuses to pull back the curtain and see the package is hollow and the lives are empty. The reality is that alcohol; drugs, rehab centers and psychiatrists serve as spiritual and emotional props for the sinful, destructive lifestyle of the rich, famous and infamous.
Sadly, the 21st century church has a membership that looks to the world for style, pleasure and acceptance. Like Demas whom Paul named as a co-worker in the same sentence as “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), too many professing Christians have turned from the Lord and His church “having loved this present world…” (2 Timothy 4:10).
Lot is another example of a saint who allowed the lure of the world to turn his family from God. 2 Peter 2:7 describes Lot as a “just” man [a righteous man]; however, his fateful decision to move his family to Sodom came to a tragic end (Genesis 13:10-12; 19:1-29). Whatever promise Lot felt Sodom held for him and his family (wealth, possessions, security, popularity), in the end he lost everything.
It is my prayer that every parent, teen and adult would read and heed Solomon’s admonition. The wicked boast great things, but their end is trouble and sorrow (Proverbs 24:2).
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith