Misdirected Envy

by Stan Mitchell
“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day” (Proverbs 23:17, ESV).
Remember the thug at school, the kid who lived on the edge, who, it was rumored, did drugs, had lots of experience with women, who defied teachers, and lived life his own way?
In the television series, “Happy Days,” this character was Fonzi, who held the universal admiration of the kids from good homes, regular (boring) families, had his own business (the motorcycle shop). He was cool, suave, just a little dangerous, and the other kids were thoroughly fascinated with him.
There was a Fonzi at the school I attended, too. He had an air of sophistication. He possessed knowledge of women and life that was way beyond our adolescent understanding. He held forth on his exploits often. We listened in fascinated awe.
In reality he was a stupid sixteen-year-old.
Now, of course, I’m not saying that all sixteen-year-olds are stupid. I am saying, from my perspective as an adult, that I realize now how silly he was, how foolish, how naive. And while I went to college and began a career, he stayed in the same place, shifting from job to job, and aging prematurely from his rough lifestyle.
Today he is a drifter, asking for handouts. Drugs have addled his thinking.
He is no longer the object of anyone’s admiration; he is the object of pity.
Don’t envy them. Don’t emulate them.

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