Envy: Seven Deadly Sins

I continue sharing my notes on the seven deadly sins.


Sorrow for another’s good. Wishing to see other’s brought low because you cannot rejoice in their good fortune. Usually we’re envious of those doing something similar to us, those with the same passions, gifts, hobbies, line of work, or a similar calling. According to Lance Webb, envy is self-love unable to permit anyone to rise or excel above one’s own superiority, with resulting hate, jealousy, intolerance, prejudice, slander, gossip, and use of sarcasm or more violent means of leveling others to one’s own height.

The opposite virtue of envy is love.

I quote from http://www.whitestonejournal.com/ again:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake. Envy resents the good others receive or even might receive. Envy is almost indistinguishable from pride at times.

Back to my own thoughts.

Does envy and pride keep many in the church from working together? I think so. If a church or denomination does not minister our way, or even think our way, sometimes we let those things keep us from working together for the common good, those differences keep us from furthering the kingdom of God and create internal, familial squabbles and even wars. This too is sin. We can all find common ground to further the cause of Christ, even if we do not worship together, can’t we?

artwork from: http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/moodpainting-5-green-with-envy-angela-mustin.jpg

1 thought on “Envy: Seven Deadly Sins

  1. I’m sorry you’re sick! Thanks for these posts. I want to think more about the connections between envy and pride. It seems to me that among our many humans faults, we want, even in general do-gooding, to stand out–to take centerstage. We want to be an abolitionist only if we get to be Wilberforce, rather than one of the 30,000 boycotters of sugar. If someone is alleviating suffering (and is in the spotlight), and we secretly envy the person, maybe that means we’re less concerned with the alleviation of suffering than we are with the elevation of ourselves. Gosh. I sure hope that I don’t think of myself as the world’s protagonist. If I think that I’m the point of the world, then how will I ever live sacrificially? This is something I’ve been considering– The pinnacle of love is willing self-elimination–not being adored in a drama for two with a protagonist of one. Wow. Thanks for the food for meditation.

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