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What is envy and how can you get out of it?

Updated on November 11, 2013

Envy is a negative feeling. A resentful longing aroused by others quality, possession or success. If someone is good at performing their job, the colleague, who is working with him is not happy with that. Envy causes so much trouble to human being. The first murder in the world took place because of envy.

Some examples of envy and its effects

Abel and Cain were brothers. Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked on the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

See, the blessings or favour of God causes envy. Cain could have repent and do good in the coming days when he found that he is not looked favourably by the God. Instead of doing good or correcting himself, he did the opposite. If God is pleased with Abel, then Cain should have to work and yield the favour of God. Instead of going through the right way, Cain take the wrong way. He destroyed his brother. Eliminating the person who was loved by the God is not the solution. Cain was not willing to work for yielding the favour from God. Envy causes trouble and it brought more curse to humankind.

Then Lord said to Cain: “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. ” It means, when we do wrong, we have to suffer the consequences. Many of the troubles in our life are the consequences of the things we did in the past.

Envy causes to curse and problems. He became a restless wanderer on the earth. Envy is the cause of most of the murders happening in this world even today. Things are not changed. Envy is taking its toll. People are being murdered everywhere.

We are not happy with the success of our neighbors or colleagues. Often times we find envy is causing between the people who are knowing each other, and not with the strangers. If a stranger is getting wealthy, we don't mind. But if someone whom we know or someone to whom we are closely associated get wealthy, we started to get the feeling of envy. We are not bothered if we do not have a car. But when the neighbor get a new car, we feel the desire to have an even better car or we wish the neighbor to broke his car. That kind of feeling is envy. If you are happy to see the broken car of your neighbor, you are under the influence of envy.

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” See here Rachel got the bad feeling.

Out of envy Joseph was thrown in to an empty cistern and then sold out to Midianite Merchants by his brothers. What is it to his brothers, if Jacob loved Joseph more than others. They could have lead a life without envy. Instead of loving, they hated Joseph and sold him to Midianite Merchants.

King Saul run after David when the young girls sang "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." Here we need to notice the attitude of David towards Saul. David's right attitude towards King Saul helped David to think right and act right even in the time of troubles.

It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three chief ministers over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the chief ministers and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the chief ministers and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

See how the chief ministers and the satraps got envious and brought trouble to Daniel. But at last, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children.

From all the above examples, it is clear that the victims of the act prompted by envy are those people who do good. At the same time those who do bad are influenced by the feeling of envy and do more harm to the good and righteous people.

Effects of envious feeling and how can you control it?

Keeping the feeling of envy within us will cause trouble for ourselves. It prompt us to do evil things. So it is better to get out of it as soon as possible. It is a feeling. We can live without the feeling of envy. The secret of a happy life is living without the feeling of envy.

Sit back in a comfortable place and remove all the envious feeling from your mind. And allow yourself to feel that happiness and calmness within you.

How can you identify the feeling of envy within you? Are you frustrated in seeing your neighbor in his new car? Are you not happy when you see that your colleague get a promotion or a hike? Have you ever thought why he is getting that promotion or hike? If you are not happy seeing the prosperity or success of others, you are having that feeling of envy within you.

Envy is happening with the people of same vocation. A doctor envy another doctor, a mother envy another mother, a teacher envy another teacher, an employee envy another employee. That is dangerous. It destroys true friendship. It destroy our happiness.

It is better to look at ourselves than others. Focus on your work. Focus on the things God has given in your life. Spent some time to think how you can improve your work or behavior. Make yourself worthy to receive that promotion or hike. Talk less about yourself. Do more. Stop those irritating talks and habits. Then you'll be loved and cared for.

When we come under the influence of envy, it distract our focus from doing the best. We think crooked ways to get ahead than taking the right path. Ultimately it lead us to inaction and poverty. It is a deadly unseen poison we can get addicted to. Ultimately it will take control of our live.

When you come under the influence of envy, it block your brain from thinking strait and right. It stop your thought process and overpower you. You won't be able to think right and take action when you live under the influence of envy. You will be like Cain or like the brothers of Joseph or like the chief ministers and the satraps in the time of Daniel. They all could have lead a good life and avoid trouble, if they could conquer the feeling of envy within them.

When you remove all those envious feelings from your heart, you will be calm and you can do good in your life. You will be happy.

Our consumer industry is built up on envy. Look at the Catalog. Beautiful shirt, silky hair, nice house, beautiful wife and kids. It tries to take our focus away from reality. All these advertisements make us feel inferior, insecure and discontent. That is the trick played behind all the advertisements. It arose the feelings within us to get more beautiful, more comfortable and more elegant things in life.

We are the victims of the feelings of envy. It is taking away our happiness on a momently basis. Why should we allow it to steal our happiness and good feelings from us? If we allow ourselves to be a victim of envy, it brings more trouble and poverty in our life. Let us get out of it as soon as possible.


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    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 5 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thanks tobusiness for your kind visit and comment.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      A reminder that envy is as old as time, it is one of the uglier side of mankind. Interesting read. Voted up.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 5 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thanks CMHypno for your kind visit and comment.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting points you have made on envy jacobkuttyta. In this country, the UK, there seems to be a growing resentment against rich people, whipped up by politicians who are rich themselves, as they are being blamed for all the country's economic woes. The reality is that there is good and bad among the wealthy, as there is among all people.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 5 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thanks Pstraubie48 for your kind visit and comment.

      You have made a valid point. Feeling of unhappiness for the both party involved in the Envy.


    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Envy can cause so much wrong to happen. And the sad thing often those toward whom we feel envy are unhappy and longing for something else themselves.

      You have expressed this well. We need to ask the Lord to keep envy from our lives. So glad you shared this.