Envy, envy, thy name is poison!
Envy versus jealousy always puzzled me. At vocabulary.com, I found something that helps to unravel the mystery…
“It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have…
“You can feel envy about something you don’t have but want, but you feel jealousy over something you already have but are afraid of losing…”
The site said envy takes two people; jealousy takes three!
The Greek word for envy used in the opening verse means to have warmth of feeling for or against, to be heated or to boil, to be zealous towards, whether in a good or evil sense, to desire earnestly, or pursue.
The dictionaries describe envy as a feeling of discontent, covetousness, or resentment aroused by another’s advantages, successes, possessions, or qualities, the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has.
Envy produces unhealthy feelings in us. Envy heats up within us, making us feel angry, bitter, inadequate, not enough, less than. Envy is a bitter pill we purposely swallow and end up destroying our sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
These quotes tell of envy’s harm…
* Envy eats nothing, but its own heart. ~German proverb
* Envy slays itself by its own arrows. ~Author Unknown
* Envy lurks at the bottom of the human heart like a viper in its hole. ~Honoré de Balzac
These two quotes are zingers…
* 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
We tend to look over the fence. The other side is always greener, right? But what is really on the other side? Grass that not only needs mowing and watering but also has weeds and cows!
But we say to ourselves, What about me? God speaks to them; why won’t He speak to me? He has a great job. She has a great ministry. He has a great sports car. She’s so trim and lovely. They have such a beautiful home. But what about me?
Paul says, “For where there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16 MEV) Oh, wow! Defined, if we envy and have self-seeking ambition, we open the door to confusion, disorder, instability, and foul and worthless deeds!
As I was writing this, I happened upon a great article by Alia Joy entitled On Surrendering Envy and Being Enough. Alia Joy said, “I’ve sown a lifetime of envy into my soul, and reaped a harvest of fear.”
Her article made me think of this: nobody does it better! I know lyrics are a no-no, so shhh! Don’t tell! I think this is something we should all look in the mirror and tell ourselves every day…
And baby, YOU ARE the best! Right where you are. Just as you are! So, don’t let envy poison your thinking. Peter exhorts us, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” (1 Peter 2:1 NIV)
Instead, do as Paul encourages, “Pursue love.” (1 Cor.14:1a NKJV)
Run swiftly after it. Grab it and don’t let go. God’s love will never let you go.
***If you did not read the first in the love series, Love Suffers, it’s here.
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