To love is to seek others’ good and rejoice when they have it.
To envy is to seek to destroy the other’s good and sorrow over their having it.
~ Glittering Vices, p. 51
Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else as unsuccessful as you are.
~ Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking
Questions for Reflection
When and how do we compare ourselves to others?
– Why are we envious? Whom do we envy?
What role does competition play in our lives?
– How can I make my competitors partners in seeking excellence rather than rivals whose success detracts from my sense of worth?
What would it be like to have a self whose worth and value were unconditional and noncomparative?
– How do we learn to understand and receive unconditional love?
– How do we exchange gratitude and contentment for fear and resentment?
Practices to Resist Envy and Live in Love
- Ground yourself in Good News
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
At the beginning or end of the day, name 5 things you are grateful for and reflect on how your life would be different without them.
Reflect on God’s unconditional love for you.
– Do you believe it? How is it hard for you to accept?
– Find a way to remind yourself each day that you are uniquely known and loved by God.
Invest yourself in noncompetitive activities with a common purpose or good, then rejoice in the shared pleasure & outcome.
- Do Acts of Love for Others
How can you help others experience and believe God’s unconditional love for them?
– Let someone know that you love them for who they are, not for what they have or do, and rejoice with them in all that makes them special to you.
Find some way to support or contribute to another’s success.
Do small and anonymous acts of kindness, especially for those in need.
“If we could only remember that God loves us, and we have an opportunity to love others as he loves us, not in big things, but in small things with great love.” ~ Mother Theresa