Envy, The Green Eyed Monster // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Watch out! A green eyed monster lurks right outside your door, and wants to have you for lunch!
His name is Envy. Ovid, the poet from ancient Greece, said, “Envy, the meanest of vices, creeps on the
ground like a serpent.” If you’re not careful, he will sneak up behind you and squeeze the joy of living
from your being.

Webster says that envy is “the painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, joined
with a desire to possess the same advantage.”

In other words — you see somebody else enjoying something you don’t have — and you wish it was the
other way around.

Proverbs 14:30 warns that envy “rots out the bones.” It is a disease of the soul which drains your positive
energy.

The Greek word for envy literally means, “to seethe or boil.” Isn’t that true? Jealous anger doesn’t sit still.
It bubbles around in the soul and erupts like a volcano at all the wrong times.

“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend,” said Oscar Wilde, “but it requires a very fine
nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”

This “very fine nature” can be attained by keeping in tune with God. Left to our own devices, we’ll always
be comparing ourselves to others.

When we realize that everything we have is a gift from our Creator, it makes us a lot less likely to pout and
whine about what we don’t have.

Thankfulness is the remedy for envy. A thankful heart is a healthy heart. This is why “Thou Shalt Not
Covet” made it on the Big Ten list.

Dwight L. Moody once told the story of an eagle who was jealous of another that could fly better than he
could. One day he saw a hunter with a bow and arrow and said, “I really wish you would bring down that
eagle up there. He thinks he’s something special. I think he’d make a special target!”

To this, the hunter replied, “I would shoot him if I had some feathers for my arrow.”

Quickly, the envious eagle pulled out a couple of his feathers. “Here!” he screeched, “Use these! Use these!”

The arrow was shot, but it didn’t reach far enough. The other eagle was flying too high.

“I’m sorry, but I think I’ll need more feathers,” said the hunter.

In a frenzy, the jealous eagle pulled feather after feather out of his body and gave it to the hunter — until he had lost so many that he could not fly!

The hunter, taking advantage of the situation, turned around and killed the helpless bird.

The moral of this story?
If you envy someone else, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.

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