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Envy : Don't Eat the Pioson

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A desire for another’s gifts, possessions, position or achievements, closely associated with jealousy.


Causes of envy

Envy is the result of human sin

Galatians 5:19–21 NKJV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
See also Pr 23:17; Mt 15:19–20; Ro 1:29; 1 Co 3:3; 1 Ti 6:4; Tt 3:3; 1 Pe 2:1–2

Envy arises from the good fortune of others

Ge 26:12–14; 1 Sa 18:6–8; Ps 73:3; Mt 20:12–15

Love does not envy others

1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Envy arises from the spiritual abilities of others

Ps 106:16–18; Ac 13:44–45
See also Nu 11:28–30; Nu 12:2; Nu 16:1–3; Mt 27:18; Ac 17:5; Php 1:15

Examples of envy

Cain envies Abel

Genesis 4:3–5 NKJV
3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

Esau envies Jacob

Genesis 27:41 NKJV
41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

Rachel envies Leah

Genesis 30:1 NKJV
1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”

The brothers envy Joseph

Genesis 37:4 NKJV
4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Results of envy

Job 5:2 NKJV
2 For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one.
See also Pr 14:30; Ec 4:4; Jas 3:14–16

In some cases, envy can be used by God

Ro 10:19; Ro 11:11; Ro 11:13–14 Paul hopes that the Gentiles’ response to the gospel might make Israel want its blessings as well.
See also Dt 32:21

Envy forbidden

Psalm 37:1 NKJV
1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
See also Pr 3:31; Pr 24:1; Ga 5:26
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