Shortsightedness of Envy – Exodus 36 bible devotional

Have you felt envious of all the talented creatives who are doing so well out there? I wonder whether any of the Israelites felt that way about Bezalel and Oholiab. I certainly did feel envious every time I read Exodus 31.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze

Exodus 31:1-4 (NIV)

For many years, I have wondered:

  • Wow, to be filled with the Spirit of God! What great thing would I be able to accomplish with such guidance! (side note: It was rare to be filled with the spirit during Moses’ time)
  • I really need some skills, a little wisdom and knowledge. Why is God still not gifting me with some talent so that I can finally do something?

Then something changed as I selected Exodus 36:1 to be my memory verse:

So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.

Exodus 36:1 (NIV)

After choosing Exodus 36:1 to memorize, I continued to read the bible cover-to-cover and as I read Exodus 37 & 38 (where Bezalel built one intricately designed thing after another), I started to wonder why the Lord needed them to do the work. The Lord could (even without snapping his fingers!) create the tabernacle and all the artistic artifacts on his own. It suddenly occurred to me then that perhaps God desired that relationship with us, that partnering to do something for Him.

Oh. Maybe then it is my wrong heart that’s limiting my talents. Maybe if I’m given as much talent as Bezalel, I wouldn’t be using it for God’s glory.

Mei, aka Clueless

That’s why I thought of Envy making me Shortsighted 🤣

Corrected Heart for the Right Sight

  1. Overcoming Envy
  1. Committing to a cause
Exodus 36:1 Talents are given for service ... to do the work just as the Lord has commanded
Exodus 36 bible devotional - if we keep looking at what others have, we forget to appreciate what we have and what God has gifted us.

There are many ways to overcome envy, here are a few from Becoming Minimalist1:

  • Shift your focus to the goodness in your life
  • Avoid people who habitually value the wrong things
  • Celebrate the success of others
  • Be generous

Possibly, if we keep looking at what others have, we forget to appreciate what we have and what God has gifted us. To accomplish something in our life, we have to keep our focus on it – how can we do so if we keep looking at others?

Committing to a cause

While we may not discover our talents or unsure of how we can do something, we can always start committing to a cause. If you live in Singapore, you can check out volunteer.sg or giving.sg; you can also start to do something for your community or your church, or spread God’s message online. The means are many, and it really depends on whether we have set the end as something to glorify ourselves or to honor God.

I am quite myopic but I remind myself as I put on my glasses, to see correctly with the right heart

Overcoming Envy

Exodus 36 Journaling Prompt

Have you been checking out the instagram accounts of others and feeling envious?

What can you do to shift your mindset to gratitude and service?

God, some days I really wish there is some shortcut, some talent, some success that will come more easily. But teach my heart – teach me to have the right heart to live my life.

Books on Living

Here are some books I’ve found on Amazon – I’m surprised that there’s a book on overcoming envy for the creatives! Also two popular books on minimalism, to live life fully.

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

1 Becker, Joshua. A Helpful Guide to Overcoming Envy. Becoming Minimalist. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/ungreen-with-envy/ Accessed 14 Feb 2021.

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