Guarding against the noose of envy

Being thankful is harder than it seems.

But it’s worth it. It can exponentially improve your outlook. And, as I’ll explain on Sunday, intentional gratitude can even play a significant role in improving your mental health.

But a part of the reason it can be hard to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is because there is an opposing force at work deep within us:


On one level, envy is wishing you had another people’s stuff and experiences. But on a deeper level, it is secretly wishing ill will on those people because they somehow make you feel ‘behind’ in life.

To guard against this, thank God for the good things he is doing in those people’s lives. 

When you see someone on an amazing vacation (that you wish you were on), thank God for it. When you hear about someone having a great time with their friends, thank God for it. When someone tells you about how they achieved a personal milestone, thank God for it.

Proverbs 14:30 says that “envy rots the bones.” Yup, and the brain too. Envy is a noose around your neck that cuts off the air to an otherwise healthy mind.

To ramp up an attitude of gratitude, and to guard against envy, thank God for the good things he is doing in other people’s lives.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) and returns on October 8th.
  • Today’s devo was inspired by a chapter on gratitude in Craig Groeschel’s new book, Liking Jesus.
  • Bible verses are from the New International Version (NIV).


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