A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.
This is a good proverb to post on your mirror or refrigerator, wherever you are going to see it daily. The apostle Paul who faced more troubles and deprivations than most people found the blessing of a tranquil heart. Read what he says in Philippians 4:11-13:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things though him who strengthens me.”
Let’s be honest. What bothers us more than being in need is being in need when others have plenty. What makes us most discontent about our paychecks is not that it is hard to pay bills, but that others can buy more and be more financially secure with their larger paychecks. What bothers us more about not being “successful” is comparing ourselves with others who have done better than we.
But envy makes the bones, our bones, rot. It robs us of peace; it robs us of peaceful relations. It makes us less productive, less useful for the kingdom of God, and that is precisely what Satan wants. Recognize your enemy. It is not the other person who has climbed higher in success than you. It is not God who seemingly withholds blessings from you. It is not yourself with your limitations. It is Satan who hates you and wants to embitter you, making you unfruitful for the work God has given you.
Because Paul knew how to be content, he could not only endure his troubles, but through those same troubles be all the more fruitful in his labors. Pray for a tranquil heart; pray for contentment. The Lord is happy to fulfill such a request, and you will be surprised at the blessings that seem to fall your way.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org