The Seven Sins - Envy

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own

- Harold G. Coffin -

More than just a desire for others's possession or the feeling that we deserve better than the rest, envy is a wish for someone's destruction. With a feeling that he got the short end of the stick, a person filled with envy will want the other to be deprived of things he cannot have, be it material assets, personal characteristics or luck. This resentful longing, once it has started, will not go away easily, and its terribly destructive power will do incalculable damage to both the envious people and those envied by them.

The problem with jealousy primarily lies in the selfish motives that it stems from. Jealousy and its related sins are all about human's self-centered thoughts, sense of entitlement and apparently greed. When we think that someone has received something that he or she does not deserve, that life is unfair when the lazy workers get a promotion while we the hard-working stay put for years or when our neighbour has a better kitchen, we have given birth to the sin of envy. We often dislike someone for totally irrelevant reasons all out of pure envy, resent our car when a friend buys a new one and become discontented when we cannot buy a luxurious watch like our colleague, which are all signs of envy. In many ways, the negative feelings in our hearts as the result of jealousy prevent us from enjoying what we have. Nothing is ever good enough and no arrangement is fair as long as we harbor this green-eyed monster within our mind.

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies

- Gore Vidal, American author -

Nevertheless, it should be noted that what we do with our invidiousness might convert the sin into a force for growth and development. By comprehending their inferiority compared with others and being fired up with thirst for the same successes of others, many people have gained the energy to act on their desires and try to achieve what they lack. This crushing sense of inadequacy is capable of leading us to achieve what we are capable of getting, so long as we are aware of the nature of our feelings and choose our reactions.A person unknowingly jealous of another's love life might start disregard romantic love as unrealistic and merely human's illusion; people envious of some rich figure start badmouthing him as soon as he gets into a scandal of any kind. Such feelings of envy that are not admitted only bring more frustration and depression.

You can't be envious and happy at the same time

- Frank Tyger -

All in all, with proper handling and balancing, envy can actually become our drive in life. However, whether the feeling of jealousy is the first step towards achieving envy from others or towards our own destruction all depends on how we deal with it.

They are the opposite of generosity, which is a fruit of the Spirit. They do not about love one's neighbour as oneself, but about loving oneself at the expense of one's neighbour.

Envy nobody. It is the true secret of happiness, or at least the only one I know

- Peter S. Beagle, We Never Talk About My Brother -

@Kevin La