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Generosity is an antidote to envy

June 9, 2014 2 comments

from istockphoto

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)

Signature Sins: Envy

November 27, 2009 1 comment

The Second Signature Sin from Michael Mangis.  Greed and envy are similar to one another.

Envy is “constant discontent, suspicion that God is withholding. Greed is primarily about material possessions and envy is about one’s place in the world.  Greed wants the good things others have, envy wants to be the only one who has good things.

The antidote for envy: contentment, gratititude, joy and satisfaction.

Three forms of envy:

  1. Jealousy—a form of envy that guards what one already has. Antidote: liberality, good will, kindness or abundance
  2. Malice—a form of envy that truly wishes ill for others and delights in observing and contributing to other’s pain.  Antidote: peace, kindness or gentleness
  3. Contempt—heaps scorn on others virtues or abilities. May end up as racism, sexism, or classism.  Antidote: love and generosity

But something happened . . .

October 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Reading in 1 Samuel 18:1-5 this morning about David and Jonathan’s special friendship–“immediate bond of love”, “best of friends”, “special vow” between them, “sealed with a pact.” (reading from New Living) David was the perfect friend and employee–“Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully.” 18:5

Then, the ominous words of verse 6, “But something happened . . .”  David’s success and fame exceeded that of the king and King Saul could not handle it.  Anger and jealousy consumed Saul and eventually led to his downfall.  Jealousy–I have something and I don’t want to share it with you!  Happened in the NT as well.  When the ten heard about the two asking for special rewards, they asked, “what about us?”

A far cry from “rejoicing with this who rejoice.”  I guess when the ugly heads of jealousy or envy (if I can’t have it, I don’t want you to either) rear their heads, it is a sign that our ministry has become more about us than God.