I Corinthians 3:3 -“For you are still carnal: for where there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, you are carnal and behaving like unsaved men.”
It’s bad enough that strife opens the door of our lives to confusion and every evil work (James 3:14 -16). That alone should make us resist envy and strife with all our might. None of us would purposely pursue evil, but the implication that James is giving us is that when we allow ourselves to get into envy and strife, then evil (the fruit of the enemy) pursues us. But that’s not all the Bible has to say about it. In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul gives us even more information about the damaging effects of strife. He said that these things (envy, strife, and divisions) inhibit your spiritual growth and keep you from receiving greater insight into the will of God, because you are living according to the old sinful nature. According to Numbers 14, the people that were promised to inherit all the blessings of the promised land missed out because of their strife and division (vs. 11-12). God says that because of their grumbling, complaining, creating strife and division, they were disinherited from their inheritance of the promised land. Think about this, every promise and blessing of the Kingdom that belongs to you is cancelled when you allow envy and strife to exist in your heart. In fact, the opposite of blessing becomes your reality. According to James “you open yourself up to every evil work of the enemy”. In other words, God doesn’t take this lightly. Envy and strife are serious issues with God.
From my personal experience, when I allow myself to get into envy and strife I am miserable. Because anytime I live to the carnal nature I am opposing who I am as a “New Creation” in Christ. The born-again person really can’t live to the flesh and enjoy it because the HOLY SPIRIT (the Spirit of Truth that lives in us) is HOLY. God’s nature has become our nature, so the Holy Spirit informs us and convicts us of anything contrary to Godliness. He does this so that we can repent (1 John 1:9) and receive forgiveness and be cleansed of all unrighteousness. If you don’t want to find yourself trapped in the condition of being the recipient of every evil work (and I hope you don’t) then stay out of strife. Strife will keep you carnal! Envy and strife will inhibit your ability to digest the meat of the Word, and without that meat you won’t be able to grow to be a strong, victorious Christian. If you fuss and bicker with others and cause division, your spiritual growth will be stunted. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:23-24 to stop being religious, acting like everything is okay, and go make it right with the person that you have been in strife with. If you don’t your life will remain in a perpetual condition where the devil is running all over you – regularly!
My prayer for you today is that you will check your heart and keep from envy and strife. Then you’ll be the overcomer God created you to be!
Pointing People to Jesus,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”