Frederick Buechner Sermon Illustration: Envy (James 3:13-16)

In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic.

Next Sunday we will celebrate the 18th Sunday After Pentecost. Here is this week’s reading from the book of James:

James 3:13 - 16

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.

In Buechner’s book Wishful Thinking, he discusses envy.

Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else be as unsuccessful as you are.