John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.”—John 3:27 NLT
John the Baptist was a true man of God. He knew that a person cannot do anything for God unless God sends the person and bestows the necessary spiritual gifts for the mission. It doesn’t matter what a person thinks he should do for God. What matters is what God thinks a person should do for Him.
A true man or woman of God does not go beyond the call of God, does not go beyond the gifts that have been given. There is no place for jealousy, envy, and covetousness about someone else’s ministry in the Kingdom. Like John, we should be satisfied with what God has given us to do for Him.
John’s message to us is this: Be you and not somebody else. Be at peace and happy with the special tasks and callings God has given to just you in His Kingdom.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.
— Psalm 37:1 NKJV
People can become upset when they see the prosperity and success of others. They see what others have in comparison to what they have and it can upset them if they think that others have it better than them. If the others are also evil in nature, then the upset is all the greater. Why should the evil prosper and succeed? Why do they have it better than me? Instead of focusing on their own lives, they obsess over the lives of others.
We should not fret ourselves because of the prosperity and success of evildoers and we should not be envious of them. After all, we should not be envious of anyone. Envy is a sin (Romans 1:29). Covetousness is to desire the advantages that belong to someone else; jealousy is to resent a person for the advantages they have; but envy is the desire to be like the person who has the advantages. All three sins, closely related and often found in combination, result from an inordinate comparison between oneself and someone else.
Whatever advantages the wicked may have are transient and fleeting. The wicked have traded in eternal life and peace for temporary and limited advantage. If they don’t wither and fade in this life, they will in the next.
The news media frequently report stories of how the wicked have fallen. These stories are object lessons that confirm the truth of Psalm 37. Stop comparing yourself unfavorably with other people, and especially with the wicked.