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Overcoming the Issue of Envy

Luke 12:48 “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”

Have you ever heard anyone talk about an “evil eye?” In folklore, it is a supposed power bestowed on a person so that his glance brings sickness, bad luck, or death to his victim.

The word translated “envious” in some places in the Bible is the Greek term that literally means “evil eye.” We can translate the Greek as envy because that word comes from the Latin word that means “to look against.” Envy is just that: we “look against” someone who in some area is a notch or two above us. We don’t actually have the power to wish that person sickness or bad luck or death, but we do not wish that person well; we may actually wish him or her harm. We look at him or her with an evil eye.

We must change the way we think. First, recognize the futility of envy and how you gain nothing from it, no doubt it makes you miserable. Secondly, maintaining a good perspective will help us to accept God’s evaluation of what is best for the each of us. The third step in dealing with envy is to recognize that the more someone else has in gifts or position, the more that person will have to answer for to God.

You can’t pick and choose which parts of another person’s life you wish were yours; you have to consider the whole package.

Perhaps the person you envy for his or her position of power may carry a very heavy burden for the use of that power.

Or perhaps that person struggles with time constraints that make family life and relationships difficult to maintain. Sometimes people pay a high price for the gifts or positions they’ve been given.

I conclude that it is a serious thing to be in a position of prominence: it carries moral and spiritual responsibilities that few are willing to fulfill. Before envying those who are above you, count the cost carefully. You may find that, rather than looking with an evil eye, you want to look at that person with a prayerful eye.

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