Home > Spirituality > Generosity is an antidote to envy

Generosity is an antidote to envy

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Gratefulness and generosity are two spiritual disciplines that can free us from the bondage of envy.

Kevin Woo in an article on August 16 2011 of the weblog of Sound Mind Investing tells a simple story in which one act of generosity began to release he and his wife from envy’s grip. Kevin says, “We are still learning and believing God to transform us into more generous givers, trusting His faithfulness.  Be encouraged. Generosity is an antidote to envy.”

You can read Kevin’s article on the SMI website (a site I have been a member for a number of years now), AND, Kevin references an article by Tim Challies, which is also a reflection on envy.


Challies discovered the evil of envy in his own heart when he began to begrudge another person blessings that came into their life. I suspect there are others out there who may struggle like Challies and myself in applying Romans 12:15, “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Why is this so hard?  Challies suggests the problem is envy in our hearts.

Envy for Challies is “a deeply private but destructive form of covetousness. . . . Envy is evil, competitive and selfish.”  He provides some helpful quotes from Os Guinness and C.S. Lewis.  For Challies, the cure for envy is contentment.



Here is a link to a previous post I made on Envy after reading Michael Mangis book, Signature Sins.  According to Mangis, the antidotes to envy are “contentment, gratititude, joy and satisfaction.”

Here are a few passages from Scripture about envy

  • “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” (Proverbs 14:30 ESV)
  • “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (Eccl 4:4 ESV)
  • “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;” (1 Cor 13:4 ESV)
  • “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”(1 Peter 2:1 ESV)
  1. Kevin Woo
    August 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Hey David,

    Thanks for the reference to my blog post. Just an FYI for you and your readers, that post is available on our visitors’ blog at: http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/weblog/2011/08/generosity-as-the-antidote-to-envy.html

    Kevin Woo

    • August 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks. I have added the link.

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