Don’t Envy Sinners, Prov 23:17-19

Don’t envy sinners.  One of the greatest safeguards against straying from the Lord, when you are a young Christian, is to “let not thine heart envy sinners”.  When I was a teenager, envying sinners caused me to turn away from the Lord so I could pursue what they were doing.

Prov 23:17-19 gives you four good ways to keep from turning your back on the Lord.  You have to do more than tell yourself to not envy sinners.  You have to do something affirmative.

Fear God all day long – 23:17.  “Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long”.  When you fear God all day, you don’t leave yourself open to being an on-again, off-again Christian.  You do what God says to do and you don’t do what he says not to do, all the time.  This way sinners can’t entice you to do wrong some of the time.

Consider your end and theirs – Prov 23:18.  “For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off”.  You have to look beyond the immediate gratification of the flesh to see the end result of the course sinners are on.  You have to see how sowing righteousness turns out versus how sowing iniquity turns out.  This helps you to choose to follow God rather than to envy sinners.

Listen to your parents – Prov 23:19.  “Hear thou, my son”.   So many young people today have rebelled against their parents and quit listening to them.  This is common.  Your Christian parents want what’s best for you more than anyone else in the world.  When they restrict you from certain friends and certain activities, they are trying to help you.  Listen to them.

Wisely guide your heart – Prov 23:19. “Be wise, and guide thine heart in the way”.  I was a follower.  And so I let others guide my heart when I was younger.  Remember that you are responsible for your own heart.  And therefore you must guide your heart.  You can’t let sinners do this for you.  

Conclusion: Make it your daily practice to fear God all day, consider the end of every decision you make, listen to your parents, and wisely guide your heart.  In this way you can keep from envying sinners and ending up in trouble from which you may never recover.