Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

by Wayne Stiles

For some reason, we tend to envy others.

Big time.

Be it a car, a position, a house, or a spouse, we want it. There just seems to be part of our nature that sees what we don’t have as what we need.

envy Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

Photo: iofoto, via Vivozoom

No matter what season of life we’re in, we tend to feel dissatisfied with who we are, or what we have, compared to someone else.

  • The teenager wants to be an adult.
  • The single wants to be married.
  • Those with no kids want kids.
  • Those with kids look forward to the empty nest.
  • The retired person longs for the seasons past.

If you’re not enjoying where you are today—and always looking for something better, something new, something else—then you’ll never have freedom in life.


Getting What We Want Doesn’t Fix Us

Ironically, even after we get what we’ve envied, instead of satisfying, it only increases our desire for more. Solomon said it this way:

“And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4).

It’s pointless to try, he says; envy doesn’t satisfy.

Envy is like eating potato chips. One won’t do. You have to eat half the bag. (Unless, of course, they’re low-fat chips. Then you can eat the whole bag.) I can’t drink a coke and be satisfied, because I’m thirstier than when I started.

Envy is like that. It only fuels your desire for more; it doesn’t satisfy.

Envy is a vicious cycle.

Freedom from Envy’s Tug

The best way to gain freedom over envy is to realize and appreciate the blessings you already have. Then comes the tough part: be truly thankful.

Here are 4 tips to gain freedom when envy grabs you:

  1. Create a “Gratitude List.” You will find it immensely helpful to write down a list of everything you’re thankful for. Everything. You’ll be amazed. Think broad categories: God, family, work, church, —etc. Your outlook will change. Remember, God gave Adam permission to eat from every tree on earth, except one. That’s blessing.
  2. Give thanks to God, in spite of your needs. Yes, you may have struggles that are severe. True, you have real needs. According to Philippians 4:6-7, when you pray with thanksgiving the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds. Release it into God’s hands, to God’s timing, and to His will. We’re talking about the renewal of the mind.
  3. Get some encouragement from others. Ask a friend what helps him or her when struggling with envy. Ask them to pray for you and with you.
  4. Read a good book on contentment. I’m thinking of Jeremiah Burroughs’ classic, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. You can start reading it in the next five minutes as an e-book for $1.

If you have trusted in Jesus Christ—who died for your sins and rose again—then you have a great place to begin giving thanks.

Don’t let the continual dissatisfying cycle of envy blind you to how God has blessed you right now.

Question: Have you ever written a gratitude list? What helps you stay grateful? Please leave a comment.


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About ptl2010

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This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

  1. Pingback: Allowing Trust to Replace Anger « Jesus Carries Me

  2. Totally agree!
    Jealousy was a problem for me as a child. I had nothing and was very jealous of the girls who had friends, great clothes, family, etc. I would say I was envious, because I think envy includes a form of malice, but I was jealous. Jealousy continued to be part of me as I reached teen years. I was talented and I was quickly promoted at work, but these things were nothing. I was jealous of the emotional security others enjoyed.

    When I became a Christ, at 22 years old, my life changed completely – and my jealous nature changed to pity for those same people. Why would I want what THEY had? They would benefit greatly from what I now had.

    Yes, just as you stated . . .
    “the best way to gain freedom over envy is to realize and appreciate the blessings you already have”

    My loving Father has given me sooooooooo much! I want for nothing. How can I feel jealousy or envy when I have all I need in Him?

    What an amazing God!

  3. Lyn Leahz says:

    Thank you! Whenver I’ve been envious of a person in my past, I would always be sure to go out of my way to get to know them and be kind to them. What happened was that I found I actually liked that person, and they were usually very very nice. And so I had a hard time ever thinking envious thoughts or saying envious things because I would feel like a real low life doing that when they were so nice. Getting close to them and being kind actually got me over that envy. If it was someone I didn’t care for, I would feel sorry for them, and then still did not envy them because my heart ached for whatever it was about them that was negative. Your post here reminded me of that. Thanks again for sharing this!

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