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James (W7D2) Envy & Selfishness

Week 7. Tuesday: Envy and Selfishness

PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.

READ: James 3:14-15

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words

  • Bitter envy: In the Greek pikros zēlos refers to harsh jealousy. This is a result of harboring envy for a period time. Envy builds up and eventually leads to being bitter and harsh. Envy is a worldly mindset (see 1 Corinthians 3:3).

  • Selfish ambition: In the Greek eritheia is often used to describe political partisanship and division. James uses this word to describe intense rivalry that has its root in pure selfishness. Paul often wrote about selfish ambition (see Philippians 2:3). Paul also includes this in his list of the acts of the sin nature (see Galatians 5:19-21).

  • Do not boast about it or deny the truth: Those who are proud of their envy and selfishness should remember Paul’s warning in Galatians 5:21 that those who live this way will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Earthly (Greek: epigeios): the opposite of godly, limited by a worldly mindset

  • Unspiritual (Greek: psychikos): natural, sensuous, driven by the sin nature, an indulging appetite that is never satisfied or content (see 1 Corinthians 2:14).

  • Demonic (Greek: daimoniōdēs): resembling or coming from an evil spirit. Earthly and unspiritual “wisdom” comes from Satan himself. Satan deceives us by making his version of wisdom look more attractive.

APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?

What kind of things cause you to be envious or jealous?

In what areas of your life are being selfish?

How can you guard yourself from becoming envious and selfish?

PRAY: Ask God to help you see where you are envious and selfish.

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