Dealing with Envy

Titus 3:3 – For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.

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Dealing with envy takes prayer and wisdom.

I’m writing about envy today because someone I know has continually thrown “shade” in our conversations and thinks that I have no idea that the little digs are supposedly to put me in my place.

Instead of attempting to conceal their envy their tongue has become a poison pen.

I have experienced being envious in my lifetime. Envy is not an emotion or trait anyone should want to latch onto or be identified by.

If you ask me, envy is among the most dangerous emotions that carries with it only negative outcomes.

I don’t see any good in being envious because it will sooner or later destroy one’s relationship as well as trust in the one you are envious of.

Envy cannot be hidden. As hard as you may try, whatever is in your heart, will eventually be revealed.

Dealing with envy encompasses many different feelings that can range from outright anger to humiliation. Envy is among the deadliest of sins.

What is disheartening is that those of us in the Body of Christ are often touting that we want to use our gifts and talents to serve the Lord. And when we do, there is often a backlash in some sly way to put the person down for what God has blessed them to utilize.

Here are three examples that you may have come across.

At work, your supervisor compliments you and will at times mention the quality of work you produce in staff meetings. However, you get snide remarks from your co-worker who thinks, “they” do just as much or better work than you do.

You are gifted as a singer, the choir director constantly wants you to sing lead or solo…you have agreed to do so. Then, a few members of the choir, feel that “you” are not the only one with a gift and talent to sing.

Another example that stands out for me is when you are asked to be an intercessor prayer warrior. You accept the invitation and later are accused of “not the only one that can pray with fire and brimstone. ”

As you can see from these three examples, they all seem petty, but in all truth, envious people are only inwardly measuring what they can’t do to put down what God has blessed another to do.

In a recent article in Psychology Today, the article states that psychologist agrees that there are straight forward distinctions between envy and jealousy.

Envy occurs when we lack a desired attribute enjoyed by another.
Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person.

I can think of numerous stories in the Bible about how envy and jealousy played a heavy hand that was meant for bad and God turned it into good.

Starting in the Book of Genesis and the story of Joseph and the envy and jealousy that his brothers had towards him and the sorrow and family division it caused the rest of their lives.

Moses siblings had envy and jealousy against him and their actions provoked God to allow leprosy to fall upon Miriam.

Then there is King Saul relationship with David, no doubt, envy and jealousy reared its ugly head and created Saul’s downfall and his family destruction.

And we cannot overlook the chief priests and elders who had envy and jealousy in their heart against Jesus.

So, how does one deal with ridding oneself of envy? Well, it’s a daily exercise in prayer and at times fasting.

1. Ask God first to show you what’s in your heart (are you taking your gifts and talents and flaunting them? Or, have you taken for granted your gifts and talents and believe you are superior to others?)

2. Daily Heart Check-up (Are you envious of another? And why? Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

3. Do you ask others to use their God-given gifts and talents and then resent the person for using them? If so, stop and ask God to forgive you and help you to overcome Satan’s attacks against your mind.

4. Have you dealt in conversations with others about the person you “envy” to turn them against the person? Immediately begin to seek the Lord that you might be delivered from trying to manipulate others against someone who has done nothing against you.

5. Am I or have I been using my God-given gifts and talents to serve the Lord and fulfill the Great Commission? If not, ask the Lord for His help.

6. Forgive (Matthew 6:9-15)

I leave you with this question…do you have the spirit of envy that you would rather allow Satan to use you more than God? And if so, why?

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian