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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #100 --- Envy

Updated on June 7, 2011

Quotations on Envy

No frailty of humanity can equal the fault or sin of envy in its destructiveness. It destroys the best in our natures, and makes all of our acquaintances seem to be demons of the most fiendish form. Envy robs our hearts of beauty, and it makes us fail to see that which is noble and grand in others. ... Envy has well been termed by the eminent theologian as one of the greatest enemies of humanity. Under its cloak, we fail to realize the true worth of our fellowmen; under its influence, we fail to see the true love and beauty which is in our brothers; under its sinister ministrations, it fills us with such hatred and animosity for others that it cannot and will not be able to see the good in every other person or thing. And yet, we often hear another say: "I ENVY that one, because that one has this or that, or the other thing." Consider well, dear reader, what you infer when you say you ENVY that one! There is a sinister motive behind every envious act, and we should carefully consider EVERY act well before we say we "ENVY" this or that or the other matter!

We can DESIRE or SEEK another's matters, and yet NOT wish that one any great harm, but to ENVY another is an act altogether derogatory to the mind and an insult to God and man.

---L. Sumpter Augustin, The Bogalusa Enterprise and American, Bogalusa, La., Feb. 26, 1932.

Envy and covetousness are Siamese twins; they are very closely related. Envy signifies that peculiar discontent that is excited at the sight of another's success. It is accompanied with a degree of hatred and with a desire to depreciate the person. Covetousness signifies the inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good.

Envy is accompanied by a certain discontent and unrest. Either, by itself, imperils the health of the soul and destroys its happiness, but, when combined, they eat as does a canker. ...

There is a story of two men who dwelt in a certain city, one very envious and the other very covetous. The ruler of the city sent for them, so the story goes, promising them that whatever they desired should be granted them, but on condition that he who was asked first should have what he asked, and that the other should have the same doubled. The covetous man would notŠ ask first, lest the other might have more than himself; but, being pressed, the envious man desired that one of his eyes might be pulled out, so that his companion might lose both of his.

---Mattie M. Boteler, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 8, 1919.

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

---Harold Coffin, The Island Packet, Beaufort, S.C., March 31, 2003.

Envy man be cured by counting your blessings. You are more fortunate than thousands of your fellowmen. Then learn to love excellence for its own sake. Have an eye and admiration for whatever is fine, even though it is not ours.

---J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 26, 1903.

Envy is the expression of inferiority, the avowal of deficiency, the homage paid to excellency. Envy is fixed on merit; and like a sore eye is offended with anything that is bright, so envy is offended with anything that is good. ... Envy is one of the greatest sources of evil; it is the twin brother of slander; the result is always disastrous when a man becomes envious.

---R.C. Evans, Sermons, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1911.

After giving thanks will come the season of good will. No one gets more out of good will than he who exercises good will. To have a mind free from envy and malice is to open wide the door to happiness.

---Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Nov. 10, 1924.

Envy is sometimes more irreconcilable than hatred.

---H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, June 29,Š 1931.

Envy is a confession of littleness and an absence of love.

---J.A. Lord, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 29, 1916.

Envy is the vice of little souls. It is unhappiness at the prosperity of others. There is no room for envy in the soul that is filled with love.

The heart that does not envy is the heart that will not boast. Greatest of all in achievements, love has been the most modest of all in proclaiming its victories. It rejoices in the exercise of every related grace.

---J.A. Lord, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 14, 1919.

Envy is the flattery of ignorance.

Envy is the first step in self-destruction.

Envy is the confession of failure.

Envy is covetousness disguised.

Envy is mental murder spiritual suicide and the root of unhappiness.

Envy is opposed to every attribute of real manhood. Finally it means the death of the soul.

---Arthur Growden, The Daily Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., June 27, 1926.

Envy is never satisfied always seeks a new victim, and when one is destroyed another is found.

Envy is death to finer qualities of the soul. Envy hates to see in another what it does not possess and moved by envy seeks to destroy what it cannot produce.

It is a great thing to enjoy seeing others have something we have not. It takes a great mind to do this.

A secret of happiness is to know that others have powers we have not. Never try to secure by envy what nature did not give you.

---Arthur Growden, The Daily Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., Aug. 10, 1926.

Envy is an auto-intoxication of the soul due to damned selfishness. It poisons moral progress and films philanthropic vision.

---W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Dec. 25, 1922.

Many people burn down with envy when they might be built up with grace.

Dewey O. Miller, The Wesleyan Youth, Marion, Ind., September 1961.

No one can hate and be filled with envy and accomplish much good. In fact, he will soon be blended and consumed by his own disorganized and embittered mind.

---William G. Phelps, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Aug. 18, 1930.

Envy shoots at others and wounds itself.

---Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, March 1941.

Envy is a slinking cur that always bites before barking.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 15, 1922.

An infection of envy becomes the dry rot of saintly souls.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 22, 1922.

Envy is as deadly as jealousy.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 9, 1925.

Envy is a mean vice, besides causing people to do and say mean things it belittles the persons who envy. Envy hurts its possessor. No envious person can be happy because he cannot be religious and religion brings happiness.

---P.H. Whisner, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., June 20, 1898.

Envy is a subtle, poisonous passion. Its basis is covetousness, to which is added hate, and it poisons thought and kills character.

---William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 24, 1921.

Envy turns emulation into hate.

---John Edward Carver, Salt Lake Herald-Republican, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 17, 1913.

Envy is one workman the devil has never improved upon.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 7, 1932.

The surest way to miss contentment is to entertain envy.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Jan. 1, 1938.

Envy is a passion, which not only disturbs the harmony and good feeling which should ever exist between the different members of society, but it is also a perfect thorn, rankling deep in the bosom of him who cherishes it. ... The person of envious disposition seeks an opportunity of thrusting a shaft at the enjoyment of those, whom fortune has placed upon a more exalted stand than he occupies--more favored than himself. ...

Envy is the destroyer of one's own peace and comfort. It rankles in the heart like a poisoned arrow, embittering every joy, beclouding every hope, sullying every enjoyment, and rendering the whole course of life, one continued scene of sorrow, misery and distress! How unlike the situation of such a man, is that of him whose breast is a stranger to this degrading passion? Though he be the subject of many misfortunes a child of repeated sorrow and affliction, yet when the day of prosperity smiles upon his neighbor, he rejoices with him--his heart is glad within himself, that some have escaped the difficulties in which he is plunged, and the result is, that instead of calling down upon his head, the contempt and scorn as did the man of envy, he secures the good will of his fellow beings, and they put forth a helping hand, and soon he is bereft of the many difficulties which beset him on every side--he occupies a competent stand in community, and at all hours rejoices that his was a work of cultivating a disposition that ever rejoiced with and wished his neighbor well.

---S.J. Gibson, Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, Utica, N.Y., July 15, 1842.

"Charity envieth not." (1 Corinthians 13:4.) Envy is the gangrene of all social intercourse. It is the poison which eats away at the life of society. Pauline charity, on the other hand, holds no resentment at another's resentment. We often find that we would like to have what we have not and another has, though it is not entirely wrong to emulate the good points of others. It is the working within us of our better selves and the striving for higher and nobler things. It is above the animal, and is the divine restlessness for loftier ideals. What Paul was lifting his voice against, however, was the bitter desire to have what another has, and the sullen and unhappy mood because we have it not. We should not be so, we should not be disturbed, our characters should not be weakened, by yearning for goods of another, for it is our own fault most times that we have it not; every man should have something to do, some place in the world. Brotherly love is glad at the worthy attainment of another.

Envy is the mother of jealousy, the worst of sin. To hold resentment against people with whom we are living every day because of something to which they have a natural right is the worst kind of jealousy. Beauty, social position, riches come in for the greater part of the little jealousies that animate men and women today. ... If that which we are jealous of is something which we can have if we will but work and take pains, then it is not only foolishness but is mean spirited. It comes from wanting the reward without the exertion and powers of earning it. ...

Even if we strive for the attainment of our ideal and do not attain it ourselves, but see someone else attain it more perfectly than it were possible for us to do, we should not be envious of the successful one but rather rejoice with him. ... Never think that envy and jealousy, the opposites of this broad spirit, end with the self. Hate, like love, ever expresses itself in some tangible form, and narrow jealousy starts the ball of scandal, to gather as it rolls along, until finally exaggerated and distorted, it is beyond the thought of the perpetrator. Repentance may come, but he cannot catch the lie. It goes on breeding others until some day a soul goes down to a grave that he has dug. Yes, those who see no serious consequences of jealousy do not look far. It hurts the person against whom it is directed, and it is the keenest sort of self-torture, for the imagination is fired with the things that do not exist and the soul is made miserable by them.

Jealousy is caused by several causes, principal among them being money and clothes.

---Beverley E. Warner, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Jan. 18, 1904.


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