Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:26)
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying (Romans 13:13)
A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30)
Envy is the desire of something that belongs to someone else, this desire often causes resentment and discontentment. Harold Coffin said envy is when we count our neighbour’s blessings instead of our own. I find that to be pretty accurate. Envy is typically a negative emotion and all the biblical references of envy or envious emotions point towards negativity.
Becoming a mom got me thinking seriously about envy as a sin I have often overlooked. The thing is, I have often found myself in situations like what I described in the previous paragraph. Wanting what the children of other people have etc as opposed to realising that my life is different and my children have their own needs which may not necessarily be the same as other people’s needs. In this age of social media, it is even more common and easier to get stuck on the lives of others while forgetting that we have our own lives to focus on.
Envy is one of those sins that begets several other sins such as covetousness and strife(which God specifically warned against). Unaddressed envy can ruin lives, marriages and even our relationship with God- I know this for certain because I have been there, It is really hard to focus on God when you are too busy daydreaming about having the life you think someone else has and detesting them for having a ‘good life’. Many people have gone as far as finding ways to outshine the other person or wishing ill towards the person they envy (1 Corinthians 3:3, Colossians 3:5, Exodus 20:17, Mark 7:21-23)
Envy is a sin!!! (Galatians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:1, )
Thankfully, we have a remedy for sin.
Repent!!! (1 John 1:9, Romans 12:21)
Talk to God about this demonic spirit (James 3:14-16).
Envy would make you aspire to be like someone else so much that you struggle to measure up. So many people are ‘competing’ with people who really have no idea about them. I guess in a way, this can be idolatry because someone else has become the standard. Remember the first commandment? (Exodus 20:3, Ephesians 5:5).
Many times, the people we envy are unbelievers and the word of God has strictly warned against that. (Proverbs 23:17, 24:19).
If you want your marriage to work, envying another person’s marriage does not help.
If you want obedient and responsible children, envying another person’s seemingly well adjusted children is definitely not the answer.
I have heard several people say envy can be a good thing or a good motivataor, unfortunately the Bible does not say so. Time and time again, believers have been warned against any form of envy.