Day 1 Envy is a Destroyer
Of all the emotions I thought I felt, envy wasn’t among my list. Jealousy? Yes. Comparison? Ugh, every day. Sadness? Anger? Anxiety? Hatred, even? But when I heard a teaching on this word from a favorite podcast, I immediately knew all those other emotions I felt were rooted in the spirit of envy.
I hate feeling negative emotions. On the personality test called the Enneagram I am a type “7”. As a “7”, if I can avoid the pain of negative emotions I will find a way to do it. Simply pretending they didn’t exist wasn’t cutting it for me. I wanted to get to the root of my emotions so that I could truly be free, not just pretend to be free. It took some work, learning to bring those negative emotions to the light and to God for them to lose their power, but the work was worth it. I know that’s why I’m so passionate about helping others find mental, emotional, and spiritual freedom—because I’ve struggled so deeply with the darkness that comes from living in bondage to those negative emotions.
That struggle has become the catalyst to finding true and lasting freedom for myself. It’s something I want everyone to experience and as I find new levels of freedom, I know I cannot keep them to myself.
The following reading plan is my own journey of discovering freedom from envy and the amazingly abundant life that comes from that freedom.
What is envy? Why is it important for us to understand how it affects us today? The world we live in is a breeding ground for the spirit of envy. Now, more than ever, we are faced with everyone’s life as they want it to be seen—as they design it—and the comparison to our own lives can stir up envy within us. We live in a culture of envy and may not even realize how this spirit undermines our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Envy can be described as a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. It’s the root of those negative emotions like jealousy and comparison, but envy goes a step deeper. Jealousy says “I wish I had what they had.” Envy says, “Why should they have what I do not have?” Envy hates to see other people happy and secretly rejoices when others fall. As author Dorothy Sayers has said, envy is “to look upon another with malice.” It is a destroyer, the great leveler; it cannot bear to admire, respect or show gratitude.
“Envy rots the bones” says the writer of Proverbs. It is poison to the heart. Our flesh will always naturally feel the sting of envy when presented with the opportunity. It takes intentional work in our spirits to overcome the temptation to envy and be free to genuinely rejoice with others’ success and favor.
The damage of envy works two ways. You certainly do not want this spirit of envy festering in you, but what about the damage envy causes when it is coming against you from another person? I’ve been on both sides of the story and as you continue with this plan you may see how envy has damaged your heart and possibly your relationship with others. Both instances call for us to do some spiritual work in our hearts and minds to be free.
My hope is that in the following days you will have the knowledge, tools, scripture, and confidence you need to release yourself from envy.