Some enjoy being the object of someone’s envy. People have different motivations as to why. It could be to make up for something that’s lacking or it could be to feed an insatiable appetite for people’s admiration. Whatever it is, this four letter word is packed with such strong emotions that drive people to do harm to their neighbors without conscience.
Daniel, David and Joseph were given to us as examples. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because the satraps were envious of him, “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.” – Daniel 6:3
David was envied by Saul, “Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 So the women sang as they danced, and said:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.” – 1 Samuel 18:6-9
If you read on the chapter, Saul tried to put an end to David because he was consumed by his envy.
Joseph was sold by his brothers to slavery because of envy, “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him” – Acts 7:9
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
“But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger.”
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.”
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.”
Envy destroys relationships. Envying someone can lead to a critical spirit. It separates friends and worse of all, it separates a person from having an intimate friendship with God.
“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.”