I believe the Lord wants our hearts to be at peace. He wants us to rest in him. Jesus tells us in John that he has come that we might have life and have it to the full. Often times our lack of peace comes when we compare our lives to others, and envy grows in our heart. Proverbs 14:30 challenges us with these words:
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
I’ve always believed in the theory of relativity. No, I’m not talking about the scientific theory, but the philosophical theory. I’ve been to Haiti several times in my life, and yes, they are poor… very poor. Haiti is not a third world country, it’s a fifth world country. Many Haitians have to walk up to a mile just to get their water. Others may go days without eating anything substantial. However, since everyone around them is in a similar situation, they seem to be at peace. Their poverty is relative. Since no one is substantially richer than someone else, they are better able to accept what they have and quite often find peace. I believe that much of their peace derives from the fact that there is no one to envy. Since everyone is poor, there is little to covet. However, in America, if my neighbor has a better job, a prettier girlfriend, or a fancier car, I may become envious because I may perceive that they have more than I do. Proverbs teaches us that a heart at peace doesn’t envy. We need to be content with where God has us in spite of what everyone else may have. Let us not have our measure of peace rely on the philosophical theory of relativity. In other words, regardless of whether someone has more than we have, let us be at peace, remembering that the ultimate prize is salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. If we’re able to do that, Proverbs teaches us that it will give life to our body.
Proverbs tells us that envying others can rot our bones. Longing for what others have can cause bitterness, relational separation and can really eat us up inside. I encourage you to learn the secret of peace. Proverbs gives us a hint. It isn’t about comparing our lives, possessions or relationships with others. We need to be thankful for what God has given us and remember that true peace is focusing on heavenly things, not on earthly things.