Have you ever said, “It must be nice,” when you hear about something good happening in someone else’s life? Has anyone ever said that to you when you’ve shared a particularly wonderful thing going on in your life?
It may sound innocuous enough but it really isn’t.
When someone, anyone, responds to something good happening in another person’s life they have three options. They can respond with genuine pleasure that the person is experiencing something wonderful. Or they can be indifferent, having no strong feeling about it either way. The last way to respond is to be jealous.
Jealousy is what fuels a response such as, “It must be nice.” It really means I wish I had what you have instead of what I have. We may think it’s an innocent phrase but it can be so much more. It can actually be a form of coveting. The Bible is clear about that.
Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor – Exodus 20:17 (HCSB)
If you take the last phrase of that verse and bring it to modern day it includes your neighbor’s car, boat, job, vacation, electronics, and anything else you can think of. God knew it would be a trap for us if we kept wanting what others have. And now, in the 21st century, it seems that’s ALL our culture is interested in.
People see public figures in the spotlight and can often wonder what it would be like to trade places with them. It might seem fun to “see how the other half lives,” but do we really want to do that? When we get caught up in desiring what someone else has, we forget that there are things in their lives we might not wish to have. When we look at the entire picture, we might just come to the conclusion that we’d rather just stay where we are. All those tempting things we may see in someone else’s driveway come with the sorrows and struggles of the people who live there. It might not be as pretty a picture as you think.
The bottom line is that God has given you the life you have for a reason. He is molding you into the person He designed you to be while using the circumstances of your life to do it. So the next time you are tempted to say, “It must be nice,” perhaps the better option would be to say, “I’m so glad for you!” And then thank God for the life He’s given you. It really is a gift, you know.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (HCSB)