Titus 3:3 describes the moral condition of all people who are not true Christians. It says, "For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another." What a complete and accurate summary of the nature of unregenerate man that sentence is. Let's consider it for a moment today.
I could preach an entire sermon on the various characteristics of sinful men found in the above verse. But this is a sermonette, not a sermon, so I will focus on just one part of the sentence. What interests me today is how God-hating reprobates spend their lives in "malice and envy,...hating one another." I think it is especially appropriate during this time of year when so many have words like joy, love and peace on their lips to consider the true nature of human nature. All human beings, in their natural state, are filled with malice, envy and hatred for their fellow men. This is an incontrovertible fact and easily shown to be true by looking at the real world of human relationships.
Malice is defined as "the intention or desire to do evil." Envy is defined as "the desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else." Hate is defined as "intense or passionate dislike." Be honest with yourself and consider the relationships you are most familiar with. Do not these three words characterize them perfectly? If it were the case that good will towards men, joy at another's wealth and charity for all were the primary behavioral characteristics of men in this world we would live in a very different world than the one we do. I think it is time to cease being hypocrites and admit the obvious. Generally speaking, we are filled with hate, malice and envy for the people we know, especially those we know the best.
Let me get a bit more specific. Specifically, let's consider envy for a moment. Envy is one of the seven deadly sins and, in the minds of most theologians, ranks second only to pride in its vileness. A citation in Wikipedia states that, "According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the struggle aroused by envy has three
stages: during the first stage, the envious person attempts to lower
another's reputation; in the middle stage, the envious person receives
either 'joy at another's misfortune' (if he succeeds in defaming the
other person) or 'grief at another's prosperity' (if he fails); in the third stage the term
is hatred, because 'sorrow causes hatred.'" I think that is a pretty good summary.
In the first stage the envious person defames his target. The rich are evil. Enough said. In the second stage the envious person rejoices when the rich are fleeced by a new law and wail unceasingly when the rich become even richer. Enough said. In the third stage hatred for the rich is a virtue. Enough said.
Can anyone who has made the voluntary decision to vote tell me how the act of voting can ever been seen as anything other than an act motivated by envy or, conversely, an act motivated to protect the voter from the envy of another? In every instance that I can think of during my lifetime, an affirmative vote for some candidate has always been based upon what that candidate promises "to do" for the person voting for him. By definition a career politician can do nothing without funding and, also by definition, all government funding originates from taxation or inflation. When an envy-filled person votes for a candidate who promises him free health insurance he is actually voting for a person who promises to take money from another person and give it to him. When a person desirous of protecting his assets from depredation votes for a candidate who promises to not allow the civil government to create a law giving people the right to have free health insurance he is voting defensively against the envy-filled voter. Has anyone ever seen any other type of vote or voter other than what I am describing here? If so, I would like to know when, where and what it was.
Last month my neighbors voted to increase my property taxes in order to pay their government school teachers more money to babysit their children. They won and I lost. I will now be paying more money in taxes as a result of the fact that I lost. Please explain, in moral terms, why I have not been robbed. Please explain, in moral terms, how envy was not the root cause of the plan to raise my property taxes in order to generate funds to pay government school employees to babysit my neighbor's children.
Why are "the rich," whoever they are, demonized while the "working families" of this immoral land are canonized? Because of envy, of course. Why is a person's moral standing in the universe determined by his net worth or his income? Because of envy, of course. Why is it considered to be a good thing to have civil government and career politicians enact laws to take money from one group and give it to another? Because of envy, of course. Why is income inequality (except in the case where government employees make more than those of us in the private sector) considered evil? Because of envy, of course. Why are the voting contests that are held annually in this land so hotly contested? Because of envy, of course. Envy is the basis of all political action in this immoral land. The only thing worse than envy is the pride seen in the actions and words of the victors of the annual voting contests as they make plans about how they are going to violently beggar their neighbors so long as they can retain the power to do so. So please, don't talk about "goodwill towards men" this holy-day season. It makes me sick to hear it.