Envy

Fox with Ale and Chicken LegResentment combined with desiring the possessions or qualities of others; wanting what someone else has, jealousy

You can’t be envious and happy at the same time. Frank Tyger

Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts. Jean Vanier

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own. Harold Coffin

   Envy is a very unhealthy activity to engage in. Instead of being happy and thankful for blessings and good things in our life, we are resentful and unhappy because of the good fortune of others. We want what they have.

    We want to steal from them. It is not stealing in the normal sense, but can be considered “mentally stealing”. In our minds we want to take what they have. We are jealous and resentful of them for having it; believing it should belong to us instead. We should agree this is wrong and perverted, if we have envy, we have a problem.

     Is it wrong to desire the good things and good qualities of others? Yes, if you want what belongs to them. However, if you are inspired to duplicate those good things in your life, and are inspired to work and acquire them through you own efforts, then “No” it is not wrong. Envy can be a fine line. It is wrong to want what someone else has; to be resentful, to wish it away from them; for it to be yours instead of theirs. It is not wrong to want the same kind of things as long as you do not want theirs. We have seen kids want another child’s toy so badly they physically took it away. We may have done this when we were young. We wanted what belong to someone else. This is envy. Little children know no better. Adults should know better. We should actually be glad for other’s fortune and good success, not wish it away from them. 

    Red flags, warning sirens, buzzers and all kinds of alerts should sound whenever we cross the line of acceptable thought processes or actions. Wanting what belongs to someone else should make bells and whistles sound. It is undesirable, unhealthy and dangerous for us to succumb to envy.  

    It is good to seek to have the same desirable skills, traits, and abilities of those we respect and admire. It is good to be inspired by others to do better ourselves. Learning from role models, heroes and good examples are one of the best ways to learn. Most of us have our heroes and heroines. We have our favorite personages. Let us learn and grow from their examples and be careful not to cross the line and be envious of them in the process.

Challenge:  Is envy ever an issue that creeps into your life? If it does, do not engage it. Fight it off and dispose of it. Turn the situation that causes it into a positive instead of a negative. Be inspired by the success and accomplishment of others. What skills or attributes do they have that you would like to acquire or master? Study what they have done and learn by their example. Use this as an opportunity “to grow” but not “to envy”.

WisdomBlessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate. William A Ward

Spiritual: (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. I Corinthians 14:13

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. Job 5:22

The way to be happy is to make others happy, not by acquiring things. If this is really true, so many of us are chasing the wind. We are seeking joy and happiness in wrong ways. The Bible teaches doing things for others, love, the Golden Rule. These are the things that count. Envy is on the other end of the spectrum, wanting what others have, is not the answer. God is love, the more of Him we have in our hearts, the less we will envy others.

Prayer:  Help me to not envy the accomplishments of others. Help me to learn from their example.

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