Responding to Envy with Honor

honor

What are some examples of honor?

Do you envision government or military officials that hold a high rank?

Maybe you think of students who showed superior academic abilities.

How about the privilege of going first in a sport or other activity?

One definition of honor I found is the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon. Yes, I had to look up both armorial and escutcheon.

These definitions of honor aside, what does it mean to respond to envy with honor?

Join me as we consider an example from Isaac in Genesis 26:17-18.

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When Prosperity Brings Envy

water well

Prosperity is the condition of being successful or thriving.

We derive success from a favorable or desired outcome, often involving the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.

Success or prosperity characterizes thriving

As a result, we typically consider prosperity a positive situation.

Yet, prosperity for one person or people group can stir envy from those who are nearby.

Envy is a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage or to cause pain, injury, or distress to the one envied.

Join me in looking at Genesis 26:14-16, when Isaac’s prosperity brought envy to the Philistines.

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Harvest Blessings and Prosperity

harvestblessings

My maternal grandfather was a wheat farmer. He grew other things and had some animals too, but I mostly remember the wheat crops.

After grandad passed, my mother and her sisters discovered some letters in his belongings where he was discussing why his wheat had such exceptional quality even though it failed to produce as much yield as other farmers in the area.

Turns out my grandfather was an organic farmer. He refused to spray chemicals on his land crops while also practicing crop rotation to improve the soil quality.

I have also been told that my grandfather received many offers for his land over the years, but he refused to sell it even after he could no longer farm the land himself after having a heart attack. Instead, he rented out his land to an approved farmer that would maintain the same practices he had. This was his way of continuing his farming career and providing for his family.

Why am I sharing about my grandad’s farming?

How is it related to Genesis 26:12-13?

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Responding to Someone’s Lie

Calico

How do you respond when you discover someone lied to you?

Years ago, my sister and I received two female kittens from our grandparent’s farm to take to our home. My sister named the all-white kitten Cinderella. I named the calico kitten Charlie. But after enjoying them at our home for a short amount of time, we returned them to the farm. I do not remember why.

We would regularly visit the farm and call out for Cinderella and Charlie, seeing them scamper toward us.

I do not recall how much time had passed until one day she and I were sitting on the fence calling for the two cats when my sister suddenly blurted out a tractor had run Charlie over months ago.

My sister further revealed that everyone had been lying to me about this for some time.

How do you think I responded?

What does this have to do with Gen 26:9-11?

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Caught for Truth Spinning

truthspinning

Have you ever spun the truth for any reason?

Children to adults are bound to have practiced truth spinning.

Over thirty-three years ago, I did some truth spinning when I missed an agreed-upon time for a date.

I told the truth about why I was not present at the agreed-upon time while leaving out the details I was late because of a date I had planned with a different person.

Oh, the webs we can weave with partial truth and lies! 

  • What compels us to spin the truth?
  • Is truth spinning something we learn from others or a prime instinct for self-preservation? 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:8?

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Whose Advice Do You Heed?

When facing a crisis or hard decision, whose advice do you heed?

Friends? 

Relatives?

Coworkers?

Professionals?

All the above?

Does your answer change depending on the type of decision you are facing?

Last week, I shared some about how my husband and I settled in South Carolina.

The motivating factor behind our relocation was my husband’s initial job loss. We needed advice regarding a variety of needs. So, our process involved talking with all the above relationships to meet these needs.

As I shared last week, we moved to South Carolina, even though we had zero friends, relatives, or previous coworkers in the area. 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:6?

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Moving to Provide for Your Family

Provisions

Have you moved away from where you grew up? If so, why did you move?

Sometimes we move because we simply want to experience something new.

At other times, we move because of a loss of a job.

My husband and I have experienced both.

Our first move away from Kansas, our home state, took us to Oklahoma. The reason for this move was two-pronged. Doug sensed the company he was working for at the time was preparing to close the branch he was in, and I was preparing to go back to school in pursuit of a doctoral degree in piano performance. Oklahoma was the location of the parent branch of Doug’s employer, so he inquired about transitioning there, sharing that I wanted to attend Oklahoma University. The parent company offered him a job and even checked with OU to confirm that I would qualify for in-state tuition since they had employed Doug even while in Kansas.

Two and a half years after moving to Oklahoma, while I was recovering from shoulder injuries, they let Doug go compliments of a “last hired, first fired” scenario. After two months of job searching, Doug received two job offers on the same day. One job was in Nebraska and the other was in South Carolina.

To the surprise of our family back in Kansas, we moved to South Carolina. 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:1?

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Do Opposites Really Attract?

Meghan and Tink

Consider cats and dogs, two very different species. Can they be friends or are they destined to always be at odds with one another?

Our cat, Tink, despised our dog, Meghan, when they were first introduced many years ago. Today, however, Tink loves to snuggle with Meghan as often as Meghan allows.

But Tink and our other cat, Gunny, still despise each other after living in the same household for roughly ten years. 

Gunny

There’s a larger age difference between the two cats than there is between Tink and Meghan. Plus, Gunny’s personality differs from Tink’s.

Gunny is a cat that needs lots of mental and physical stimulation, a true huntress. Tink, however, stays in the same spot most of the day. Until she deems it is time for food, that is. Then she finds whatever human is nearest to her proximity to pester until fed.

Meghan’s personality is best described as accommodating to whatever the activity may be. If resting, she’ll gladly rest. If heading outside, she’ll gladly go along. Oh, and food time is a significantly joyous event. Essentially, Meghan gets along well with every member of our household.

What does this illustration of animals and opposites attracting have to do with Genesis 25:28?

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