Proverbs 24:1-2

Do not envy evil people,
do not desire to be with them;
for their hearts contemplate violence,
and their lips speak harm.

There were some rough kids in our neighborhood growing up. Not rough like some of you might know, but they weren’t the best influences. To be honest, I have no idea where they are now. I have no idea what happened to them, if they’re still alive, in jail, married, divorced. I have no idea.

I remember thinking they had it pretty good though. Yeah, I recognized that they didn’t have some of the things that I did, like a dad for instance. But I also noticed that they did have a lot of things that I didn’t have – like Nintendos, remote control cars, bb guns and dogs. They got to do pretty much whatever they wanted because their moms worked during the day. And they even got an allowance for the day (not the week, the day) that they could go and spend on whatever they wanted. They could go anywhere they wanted in town, use their allowance to buy whatever they wanted and pretty much get away with anything under the sun.

As a kid, you think that stuff is kind of cool. You think it would be cool to have all the fun gadgets and get to do all the fun things. But, as an adult I can see how detrimental that kind of life can be. I have been able to see who kids who are raised this way become as adults. It’s not pretty. It’s usually a disaster of some kind. Even those that aren’t glaring can be pretty bad.

Kids that are raised that way grow into adults that are always looking for the next thing to fill the void of meaningful relationships. And it’s a self-feeding pattern. Because the more they want the relationships, the more the look to find fulfillment in things. And the more things they have, the less relationship they have time for.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the cycle goes. It goes to the person who has to keep taking things to the next level. Even when those things are bad, dangerous, illegal and harmful. Because they are missing relationships, they fill their lives with violence and contempt.

Learn a lesson from my childhood, and from this proverb. Don’t envy evil people. Because in the end, you have no idea what happened to them.