14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing (James 3).
All of us succumb to “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” now and then, the source of which is “earthly, natural, [and] demonic” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Our flesh, the world, and the devil all press in upon us to promote ourselves in order to rise above those whom we envy. It only follows that when everyone is doing this at once, social “disorder” becomes the order of the day.
Evil is always on the heels of envy and self-promotion, pushing them along to conform to the Evil One himself, who is the very embodiment of them and who introduced them into both the heavens as well as our world (Isaiah 14:13-14). We are never more like him than when envy and self-promotion rule us. Those who are “arrogant and so lie against the truth” refuse to acknowledge this evil wisdom in their lives whenever it pops up.
Lord, help us This Day not to envy others and promote ourselves, but should those errors befall us, help us also to admit to them quickly and cast them aside. Amen.