Are you restless over an officemate who is promoted a dream job instead of you? Have you suffered some sleepless nights and wished you had the same brand new car just like your neighbor? Do you secretly envy a friend who travels to Maldives and seems to have more money than you? Do you feel jealous because a colleague is doing well in his business?
Then you begin to have the feeling of inadequacy and complain, “Life is not fair!”
Envy is universal. It is a feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, better job performance, talents, skills and even physical appearance. Truth be told, we all do experience the feeling of envy at one time or another.
It’s hard to admit these negative flaws, yet it can surely drain your emotional energy. Let me share with you the top 6 reasons why envy can stop you from growing.
- Envy robs your peace of mind
It’s inevitable to compete with someone when you feel envious. Because of this, it can rob your peace of mind, consume much of your time and thoughts, ruin your personal and professional relationships, and create negativity or resentment.
Envy also makes it harder to get ahead in your career and reach your goals because of this distressing emotion.
- It can make you ungrateful
When you compare yourself with others, you feel unhappy and miserable. However, the best way to develop the spirit of gratitude is to count your own blessings. It’s more about refocusing on what is really important in life and started practicing gratitude and happiness.
- It can make you feel unhappy over someone’s success
When you’re obsessed with someone else’s achievement, your self-respect also suffers and you eventually feel unhappy. The story of the prodigal son illustrates this point. While the father welcomes his erring son, the older son is not happy for his brother (Luke 15:29).
When good things happen to your friends, relatives, or colleagues, learn to be happy for their accomplishments. It’s an opportunity to celebrate with others who have been blessed by God. After all, it’s an indication of a matured character.
- It can destroy a relationship
No matter how hard you try to cover it with a smile, envy isn’t something that goes away on its own. Many relationships have gone sour because of envy or the so-called green-eyed monster that has taken over your life.
- It can kill your spirit
Envy can kill someone’s spirit or passion. Instead of nurturing your talent and skills so you can be more productive in the workplace, the zest in life is replace by hatred and envy. In the long run, envy can affect your health and drain your energy.
- It’s a manifestation of doubt about God
There are many Biblical characters that talk about envy. For instance, “The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard” is a clear example how envy had displeased the Master. The workers felt that they were not being treated fairly, not because they weren’t paid, but because other people who worked less were paid the same amount.
Because they worked for longer hours under the sun, they thought they should received more wages. Matthew 20:12 says, “These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us.” Envy simply means you doubt God’s goodness in your life.
While envy can poison any relationship, its great to start seeing goodness in your life. Because we are all unique, it’s better to stop judging people and try to see things objectively. Learn to be grateful and stop comparing yourself to others. Make a list of things you’re grateful for – no matter how small – each day.
In addition, helping the needy can offer a sense of fulfillment in life as you feel good about yourself. God cares deeply on how we relate to one another and He wants us to grow as a loving person.
I Corinthians 13:4, NIV
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