Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:17
"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always"
Notice that the inspired writer of Scripture states correctly that it is the heart’s envy of sinners that wars against the fear of the Lord. It is not that we will not, at times, envy those who have beds of ease and sin abounding. We all do this from time to time even as David did in the Psalm until he contemplated their end. We must not allow our soul to lock onto the snapshot of the life of the wicked with envy and desire. It is that soul-dwelling embrace of evil that will destroy the ability to stay the course of righteousness. We will never be able to pay the sacrifices of righteousness now if internally we are envying sinners and their ways in the depths of our being. This is one of the difficulties of the Hollywood portrayal of life. It only shows the moment of pleasure in the life of sin instead of the endless consequences that flow from those decisions. Be careful that you do not believe Hollywood that all you get from sin is the pleasure without the consequences: loneliness, identity crisis, selfishness, ego, disease, addiction, and a host of other sins and desires that would not have been yours.
A crucial concept in enjoying the victorious Christian life is "fearing the Lord." This carries with it the idea of awe and reverence for the Lord that grows out of real fear and terror. Our God is an awesome God who is not to be treated lightly or casually.
To be a God-fearer means that you are aware that He watches everything that you do and will expose what and who you are. It means that you are aware that there are things that please Him and things that do not please Him and that your life can be inside of that which pleases Him and it can wander out into the jungle of sin and suffer the consequences of that kind of life.
When we live like the naturalist who says that there is no God and as though there is no judgment at the end of life and as though our choices don't really matter, then we are living without the fear of the Lord and will move into trouble and reproof soon.
Our day and age does not want to recognize that reproof exists and tries to treat as normal the consequences of a life of ignoring God's lines. It eventually catches up with us and psychosis and other bizarre abnormalities and consequences force us to look at how we are living.