The pastor at the church I have visited a couple of times has started a series on the seven deadly sins. I just love it! It is the first time in years I have heard sin addressed so directly from the pulpit. Not only is it addressed, it is made clear that we are responsible for our actions and there are very real consequences for them. He also addresses the results that these sins have on our relationship with God,our relationships with others and on our spiritual health. All the teaching has been so practical and what is so refreshing is that at the end of each service there is not just an invitation to receive Christ as Lord and savior but also opportunities for repentance and dealing with areas in our lives as Christians where we need to repent and turn away from sin in our lives that hasn't been dealt with.
The first lesson was on envy. The Bible says in James 3:16 where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you have disorder and every evil practice. I have seen so much of this firsthand and in the church at that.
At one church that I attended we were taught to never be satisfied with what we had materially and that our faith would become stagnant if we were not constantly "raising our vision" to the next level of material things and "believing God for them" we were instructed to write a "vision list " and write down all the material things we wanted, how big of a house we wanted, what we wanted our salary to be, etc..... along with our spiritual goals of course. Sometimes when someone achieved a material goal, huge house, being left large sums of money, etc. they would be called upon to speak on what their faith had gotten them and the whole service would be devoted to that. Hands were laid on the chairs in the auditorium and they were prayed over in diligence and instructed to "grow millionaires".
Envy is insatiable, envy cripples our ability to examine ourselves - to see our motives, envy cripples our trust in God, envy never stops at that sin - it always grows into other sins, it causes one to take matters into their own hands to make what they want happen, envy cripples our relationships, envy cripples our ability to enjoy what we have, envy is a heart problem and begins in the heart, envy is not something that happens to us..... it is something that comes from us.... from our heart.
I believe that this constant pursuit of and pressure to achieve material things and money with "our faith" bred envy within the church, and as a result bred evil practices that changed innocent peoples' lives in horrendous ways.
A Reflector of His Bountifulness
9 years ago