I help to teach 3rd and 4th graders at church. This month the memory verse is “Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” (Luke 12:15)

Yesterday it occurred to me that so much that goes on in our world is based on greed and envy. We want what others have and they want what we have. Jesus is warning us to guard ourselves against envy. I believe that every time I have been envious of others, it boils down to the basest of sin: that of pride.

Pride will affect the way we think about others who we consider to have less gifting or are less spiritual than ourselves. Envy will affect the way we think about those who have more recognition, success or status in our own area of gifting.

Pride and envy stop us receiving from other people who minister to us. We won’t be taught or served by them, as we know better (pride), or resent not being in their shoes (envy).

Pride and envy stop us rejoicing with other people as they are used by God in ministry. We don’t want to share the limelight with someone else (pride), or we resent them having opportunity that we would like ourselves (envy).

Pride and envy stop us recognizing the gifting other people have for ministry. We begrudge them praise and opportunity because it detracts from the our own status (pride), or we have a critical attitude because we are bitter that they are doing what we want to do while we are not (envy).

What’s the remedy for these obnoxious attitudes? Humility. May the Holy Spirit help us to search our hearts and repent of any pride and envy we find there. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)