1 Corinthians 13:4
….Love does not envy…
One of the most misunderstood sins is envy. Many people confuse it with having a dream for a better life. A dream is a gift of motivation from God for reaching a goal that can give you satisfaction in life. Envy is a desire to have something that someone else has. The term for this is greed.
Envy will always grow to become an obsession. It’s inevitable. Envy seems small at first, and relatively harmless, but before you know you are making excuses and coming up with justification for why you have to have something. At this point, something you never had any use for in the past becomes a need and all because someone you admire has one.
Advertisers use envy to get you to buy their product. A perfect example of this is digital cameras. At the store I work for, I have customers ask if they should upgrade to a higher mega pixel because they saw an advertisement for the latest generation Nikon. What I tell them is that if they aren’t going to make any prints bigger than a 16x20 then they don’t need any more than six mega pixels. To upgrade would be an incredible waste of money.
The point of this is that just because an advertiser tells you it’s a need, or a celebrity uses the product, that doesn’t mean you should have to have it.
It is nothing more than a selfish desire to obtain someone else’s status. I truly believe envy is at the apex of selfishness. When you envy, you are telling yourself that what you want is more important than someone else’s need.
Mr. Jones has a brand new, cherry red, Corvette, and you are stuck with a 1981 Ford Mustang, that you inherited from your family. No one in your family took care of it, so you worked on it, fixing each problem as it came up, and you have it running properly. Next to Mr. Jones’ Corvette, your car looks like a piece of junk, (or so you think) so you want his car, not because it will get you where you’re going any better, but you think it will because, after all, it is a Corvette. This thought process will eventually lead you to covet the car, and eventually hate Mr. Jones, even though he didn’t do anything wrong but buy a new car.
The point of this is that Mr. Jones worked hard to buy a new car, and maybe his car broke down, you don’t know, but in the end you feel your desire for his car is more important than his need.
When you envy what someone else has, you believe what God gave you is inadequate. When God made us, he gave each one of us different strengths, and weaknesses. God tells us that he will always take care of our needs, but envy tells us to forget our needs because what we desire is more important. Having food, and shelter is by far more important than a brand new Corvette, but envy will twist your priorities, and say, “But aren’t you more important than Mr. Jones?”
Envy doesn’t think about needs, yours, or someone else’s, it just concerns itself with your wants and how to obtain the object of its desire. The only way to overcome this most undesirable trait is to continue putting others before yourself, and trust that God knows what you need before you ask him.