Envy & Jealousy are the root of many evils, its subtle and hard to recognize within oneself. It can be so cunning that God made two commandments for them while all the others have one. According the dictionary envy means: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Jealousy means: resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself. The Philosophical interpretation: Jealousy is the fear of losing what one has Envy: the desire to posses what one does not.
When we are jealous of someone else for having the same or better attributes than us we often deny we are jealous.
The best example of envy can be found in this unbelievable true story. The two women were so envious of the possession of someone else it lead them to sin. Check out this 1 minute video of them captured in the act.
Rather amazing isn’t it? Almost unbelievable when you capture the very moment you fall into stupidity from the wrong choice from being envious. Ron Rolheiser, in his book “Sacred Fire” has this to say, We feel diminished by other people’s greatness and find ourselves nitpicking and looking for flaws rather than blessing the talents and achievements of others. We can do an inventory on ourselves apposite the sin of envy by asking ourselves these questions: How often in a given day do I praise another as opposed to criticize another? How often do I nitpick, and why do I nitpick? Why do I find it much easier to be empathetic with someone who is hurting as opposed to sharing truly in someone’s good fortune? Why do I experience a secret glee upon hearing about the fall from grace of a celebrity? Why do I struggle to bless younger people? When did I last truly praise a younger person of the same-sex?
Aha! that last one is a good one. We often have trouble with our same-sex, Rolheiser talks about how women praise their sons more naturally then their daughters and vice versa for men. If I look at my own family dynamics I see that he is onto something. He goes into more detail about this in his book. He also uses the story of the prodigal son as an example of jealous and envy involving the older son. Another example he uses in relation to God’s love and envy is the workers in the vineyard. We tend to feel these pangs of jealousy and envy, because we are always watching and comparing ourself to others, forgetting that God’s love is unbound. He loves us as though we are the only ones and He will shower us with His blessings to overflowing. Check out the story of the “Red Barn” and you will see what I mean. Let us together, begin to focus on our blessings and being grateful for each one and asking ourselves the questions above on a regular basis, so that we can avoid this damaging deadly sin.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
OPEN FLOOR: Perhaps, you have a story to share of envy and jealousy from your life that you were able to overcome that may help someone else. Please feel free to comment below.