If someone asked me, “Are you envious?”, I would quickly respond with a resounding, “No”. I mean, why would I be envious of someone else? But I would challenge each of us to look within and honestly examine your heart.
The word envy has to do with being jealous of one another. Envy also denotes having ill-will toward another person. We can become envious of each other when we compare ourselves. II Corinthians 10:12 indicates that it is not wise to compare ourselves to one another. Why then is it a very common way that many choose to approach life? Without even realizing it, many choose to determine who they are through comparison.
Comparison is an unhealthy way that many decide if they are “good enough”, “better than someone else”, “successful”, etc. In turn when they don’t measure up, they can become envious of the other person. Comparison is the natural side of trying to define ourselves. There is nothing supernatural about it. Comparison is a vicious cycle: compare, become envious, put oneself down, compare again and become envious again.
So, to break this vicious cycle, we must first stop comparing ourselves with others and defining ourselves by that comparison. In turn, we must start finding our identity in the Word of God. Rather than deciding how well we are doing based on where we stand – or how we compare - with others, we must determine who we truly are with the truths that only God has given us.
For example, if I am envious of my friend for having a success or receiving a gift, I am forgetting what the Word says:
Philippians 1:6 in the Amplified Bible says, “And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
My success is not determined by how well I stack up with another’s success. God is the One Who brings success in my life!
When I am envious of someone receiving something that I had wished or prayed for, I am not only sinning, but I am forgetting that God is the One Who supplies my needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19). Someone else’s blessing does not determine mine. God is the Provider!
Envy is also NOT a characteristic of God’s love and kindness.
Titus 3:3-5 indicates, “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—"When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy" (NLT).
The difference lies in our choice to let God reveal His love through us. As we allow that love to be our guide, we choose not to envy.
It. Is. A. Choice.
Each of us has the ability to decide whether we will envy or whether we will love. Love is never envious (I Corinthians 13: 4. AMP).
When we choose to walk in love rather than envy we also bring health to our lives. Proverbs 14:30 states, “A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones (AMP)”. None of us would purposefully choose to eat or drink something that would cause our bones to rot. Why then do we find it so easy to be envious? Envy is like rottenness to our bones!
The good news is we have the choice of whether or not we will envy, & we have a Helper to help us walk this out. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He will help us learn how to renew our mind and take our thoughts captive so that we do not dwell on envious attitudes. We can successfully walk in love!
So, how do I overcome envy?
Let each of us begin to look within and examine if we are envious in any situation.
If you were encouraged by this message please share it with your friends and family.
- Gregurich Ministries