SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 37; Acts 7:9-10

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Some attitudes can go undetected, at least for a while. You can't see someone committing envy or having resentful thoughts. But envy is detrimental because it blinds us and makes it impossible for us to think clearly. It discolors everything around us and steals our peace. Some know what it’s like to be envied, like Marilyn Monroe who once quipped, "Success makes so many people hate you." But most of us from time to time struggle with envying someone else.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: January 28, 2018
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster"
Text: Genesis 37:1-11; Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10

Path

Some attitudes can go undetected, at least for a while. You can't see someone committing envy or having resentful thoughts. But envy is detrimental because it blinds us and makes it impossible to think clearly. It discolors everything around us and steals our peace. Some know what it's like to be envied, like Marilyn Monroe, who once quipped, "Success makes so many people hate you." But most of us from time to time struggle with envying someone else. In this study, Pastor Skip shared how to fight the green-eyed monster of envy:

  1. Envy Has a History (Genesis 37:1-2)
  2. Envy Has a Recipe (Genesis 37:2-11)
  3. Envy Has a Remedy (Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10)

Points

Envy Has a History
Envy Has a Recipe
Envy Has a Remedy

Practice

Connect Up: The Bible calls Christians to be holy (see 1 Peter 1:15-16). How does envy—or any sin—separate us from the mark of completeness God desires for our lives?  Discuss what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect" (Matthew 5:48). The Greek word for perfect is teleios, meaning complete, full, or perfect. How does Christ perfect our lives and lead us to Christlikeness?

Connect In: How would you deal with a fellow believer who's struggling with envy, whether toward you or someone else? (See Matthew 18 for insight.)

Connect Out: How would you practically handle envy in your own life so it doesn't affect others you reach out to? Discuss these suggestions:¹Shift your focus to the goodness in your life. Remind yourself that nobody has it all. Avoid people who habitually value the wrong things. Spend time with grateful people. Understand that marketers routinely fan the flame. Celebrate the success of others.

¹Joshua Becker, "A Helpful Guide to Overcoming Envy," https://www.becomingminimalist.com/ungreen-with-envy accessed 1/28/18.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Envy is an insidious sin
      1. Paul listed it as one of the works of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21)
      2. It poisons our soul and clouds our ability to see things clearly
        1. The green-eyed monster
        2. Term originated in Shakespeare's Othello
    2. Envy is the art of counting other people's blessings instead of your own
      1. The story of Joseph is a story of envy
      2. It was envy that began all his troubles
  2. Envy Has a History (Genesis 37:1-2)
    1. The whole history of Jacob and his family is a story of envy
      1. He learned envy from his mother, Rebekah (see Genesis 27)
      2. Esau envied Jacob
      3. Laban envied Jacob
      4. It even goes back to Cain and Abel (see Genesis 4)
    2. Envy is part of the human heart (see Matthew 7:20-22)
      1. Every time someone around us has something good happen to them, we deal with feelings of envy
      2. We are called to rejoice with others (see Romans 12:15)
      3. Other people's successes seem to amplify our own perceived failures
  3. Envy Has a Recipe (Genesis 37:2-11)
    1. Natural dissimilarity
      1. Jacob had sons from four wives: Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah
      2. Envy grows when we compare ourselves to others
      3. Joseph was handsome (see Genesis 39:6)
      4. Envy always compares and asks, "Why them?"
    2. Social integrity
      1. All people need to feel accepted, especially young people
        1. The idea of rejection is devastating
        2. Leads to groupthink
      2. Joseph's moral compass was stronger than his need to be accepted
        1. Like Daniel (see Daniel 1:8)
        2. Over-developed sense of honesty
      3. Perhaps Joseph had learned to be brutally honest by watching the result of his family's dishonesty
        1. Jacob had tricked his own father into giving him his blessing (see Genesis 27)
        2. Joseph's brothers tricked their father and killed an entire village because their sister had been raped (see Genesis 34)
      4. Joseph's brothers saw his honesty as malice
    3. Parental partiality
      1. Partiality adds the dangerous ingredient for the recipe of envy
      2. It can come from different sources
        1. A boss
        2. Friends
        3. Teachers
        4. Coaches
      3. Joseph was the son of Rachel, the only woman Jacob ever really loved
      4. The coat Jacob gave Joseph signified that he was giving him the rights and privileges of the firstborn son (see 1 Chronicles 5:1)
    4. Personal simplicity
      1. Joseph's dreams did not earn him any points with his brothers
      2. He was naïve
    5. Envy puts us at the center of the universe
      1. Greed says, "I want more;" envy says "I want you to have less"
      2. Resenting others' happiness (see Proverbs 27:4)
  4. Envy Has a Remedy (Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10)
    1. For Those Targeted
      1. Envy does not have to have the last word
        1. The brothers' jealousy did not hinder the work of God
        2. It furthered the work of God (see Psalm 76:10)
      2. If you are prone to envy, God may give you first-row seats to His work in others' lives
        1. Your envy does not stop God's work in another person's life
        2. You can live honorably regardless of your environment
        3. You cannot blame where you are today on the actions of other people
    2. For Those Inflicting
      1. Envy does not destroy the person you are envious of; it only destroys you (see Proverbs 14:30)
      2. Live your life better than the one you envy
      3. If you have a healthy spiritual life (read your Bible, go to church, serve, etc.) but are holding on to toxins like envy, it will destroy you (see 1 Peter 2:1-2)
      4. If you say you love God and other people but are envious, you really don't love, because "love does not envy" (1 Corinthians 13:4)
      5. Let gratitude be your long-term strategy
        1. Replace envy with thanksgiving
        2. It will transform your heart
Figures referenced: William Shakespeare, Paul Tripp

Works referenced:Othello, Leave It to Beaver

Cross references: Genesis 4; 27; 34; 39:6; 1 Chronicles 5:1; Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 14:30; 27:4; Daniel 1:8; Matthew 7:20-22; Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 2:1-2

Topic: Envy

Keywords: envy, coveting, jealousy, honesty, greed, resentment, thanksgiving


Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster - Genesis 37; Acts 7:9-10 | SkipHeitzig.com/4272
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