2 Ways to Fight Envy

Sometimes, what keeps us from living with flair is a deep-rooted sin.

I’ve been thinking about the spiritual disease of envy today.  It creeps into the soul and causes the kind of devastation that leaves us depressed, angry, imprisoned, and lonely.  We know we’re being controlled by envy when we cannot rejoice in the prosperity of others.  We know envy has taken root when we secretly feel better about ourselves when we hear of the misfortune of others. 

These are deep, ugly, honest things.  Living with flair means we expose them and live in the truth.  When we compare ourselves to others and then find ourselves wanting more, we get sucked into the powerful delusion of envy.

Envy oppresses and depresses.  It sabotages friendships.  It divides us from our true self.  It alienates us from God. It imprisons us in a world of competition, accumulation of possessions, and frenzy to prove ourselves. 

It just might be the major cause of unhappiness in American society.  As I thought about this today, I discovered two truths that help me battle this spiritual cancer:

1.  Envy cannot stand in light of the sufficiency of God.  God provides for all of our needs.  I can rejoice and claim that, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.” Why compare myself to others?  Why look with longing on what everyone else has?  I have everything

2.  Envy cannot stand in light of perceived abundance.  Perceived abundance means just that:  we choose to acknowledge every place of abundance in our lives.  Instead of perceiving scarcity, we rejoice in abundance.  My daughters have so many toys.  But guess what?  They want the one thing they don’t have.  They want the one toy the other child chooses.  I’ve watched this dynamic for the past 5 years.  Why do children go crazy over the one toy in the playroom that somebody else has when there are hundreds of other choices?  Envy!  It blinds them to the reality of abundance

When we feel that resentful longing of envy, we confess it and ask God to show us the truth of His provision and abundance in our lives.   I want to be the kind of woman that truly rejoices over the prosperity of others and celebrates that abundant life that God always–always–offers to me. 

Journal:  How do you fight envy in your own heart? 

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  1. So good, Heather. How do I fight envy? For a long, long time I succumbed to it's power. Miserable, I finally did exactly what you suggested. I confessed it and BEGGED God with a contrite heart to replace my envy with contentment and joy in His provisions and gifts and abundance for me. Can envy still trip me? Of course. But I know the joy of breaking from from that misery so I don't stay there. The antidote really is gratitude.

  2. Envy comes out in so many ways…in relationships, in churches, at work.

    I've kind of figured that someone is going to be better than me, richer than me, smarter than me and better looking than me.

    if that person fits one of those categories, it's their day and I'll gladly cede that to them

  3. Thankyou for your insight. I notice how envy blinds me to another's needs & pain. If I truly were to put myself in their shoes, I find they have their own struggles & pains too. If I envy, I harden my heart to their pain too. It walls me from others when I could come alongside.

  4. One of the ways that I fight envy is by remembering that there is usually more story behind what I see. I may see a beautiful, talented woman who seems to be the perfect wife and mother; but in many cases there are sins, burdens & difficulties that she is carrying as well. God has given me my portion of blessings and challenges, and “trading places” with someone else would only give me different blessings and challenges. I think I'll keep what God things is best for me.

  5. This is the TRUTH. Plain and simple. I was just thinking about this the other day. Since the evolution of facebook, I've noticed with others (and sometimes within myself) that we purposely ignore the statuses of our brothers and sisters out of envy. It's so very sad, and must truly grieve the heart of God.

  6. Heather, this is your best post of them all. Much truth here. And, yes, I've read as many of these as you have. Tell Ash hey. Edwin