Envy, Part 4

Being Zion

Envy Hiding

Then there is a kind of envy which is more difficult to see and diagnose. You have a talent. Someone you know, and greatly respect, has a similar talent only more so. Their natural ability in this area may be significantly greater than yours. In addition, they have worked more diligently to develop their talent than have you. By their natural, God-given gift, and exhaustive effort to develop it, they have achieved far more productivity. They have also achieved far more attention.

Although your talents are similar, your experience falls significantly behind in both production and recognition. You compare the results and conclude that by some fault other than your own, you have been cheated. This is, perhaps, the most destructive form of envy. It is suffered by many today, as mainstream media regularly testifies. This is the form of envy from which Lucifer suffered.

Envy is insidious. It can sit just under the radar of awareness where it drives emotion to a place of nagging misery. You may experience emotions of disappointment or even despair when the object of your envy ignores you. Or, your greatest efforts fail to lift you to that unreachable place. Envy may deceive you into considering the object of your envy as a mentor when your true objective is not learning and growth, but the honors of men, by association. 

Blindness to envy enables and hides its insidious nature. Outwardly, you feel justified while cunning envy cankers your soul and bleeds honor.

Envy slides effortlessly into self-loathing. The resulting lack of self-esteem inhibits productive behavior and camouflages effective solutions. Feeling sorry for one's plight is like using gasoline to put out a fire. In anxious despair, it becomes easy to be convinced by the "friendly" scorpion to jump on his back to cross the river to safety. Oh, yeah, that will work.

Envy-stimulated unreachable comparisons leave you miserable and feeling like you were denied something you deserved. The resulting spiritual blindness obscures faith in Christ.

Envy is the fuel powering an entire inventory of evil influences. Pay attention to their tantalizing melodies, or not. It's up to you. In a case of weakness, an "agonizing reappraisal"* with the objective of identifying and removing our objects of envy, would be a good idea. This may not be so easy if we rely on our envy to justify poor performance. 

*(Lyric from Sea Level, That's Your Secret, 1977)

Envy eradication requires courage and an increase of faith in our Savior’s ability, and willingness, to help. Agonizing reappraisal may require gut-wrenching realizations, sudden paradigm shifts, and other unpleasant, but purifying, spiritual emetics. 

Evil does not relinquish control without a battle. You must be willing to courageously fight for your eternal salvation, and joy in this life. Face the Lord in repentance. Then face the conflict with honor. Do not let evil shoot you in the back because you ran away from the fight. 

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