Self-Deconstruction - Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  February 1, 2004

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  • Sin
1 Samuel 18:1-14
RS 172-08

1 Samuel 18:1–14

The story of David in 1 Samuel 18:1-14 teaches us about the dangerous role envy can play in our lives. Envy, often not taken seriously, is powerful and destructive. It’s even listed as one of the seven deadly sins. Understanding the power of envy and how to break free from it is an important conversation for us to have.

1. Envy

Envy, a powerful and often ignored feeling, can ruin lives. Saul’s jealousy of David is a clear example of this. Our society tends to downplay envy, sometimes even making it seem attractive, despite its destructive nature. Envy leads to constant comparison and bitterness, and can take away our ability to enjoy what we have and the happiness in our lives.

2. The enslavement of envy

Envy can trap us in spiritual bondage. The growing jealousy Saul had for David shows this. C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” also illustrates this idea, where a woman’s constant complaining stops her from entering heaven. Moreover, envy can reveal our deepest wants and priorities, often showing that we’ve put something before God. This ultimately leads to our unhappiness and downfall.

3. The path to freedom

Envy can stop us from being happy for other people’s success. Jonathan’s selfless love and support for David, even when it cost him, is a powerful example of how to overcome envy and accept God’s plan. This story emphasizes the life-changing power of selflessness, seen in Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and urges us to give up our desires and ambitions, becoming living sacrifices in return.



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