It’s Time to Breakup with Envy

envious eyeAnd then He (Jesus) added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” Mark 7:20-23

Don’t you just hate it when things like envy, slander, and pride get listed as “vile things?”

I’m okay with Jesus talking about theft, murder, sexual immorality, and wickedness. You know the things that don’t hit close to home. But the things that get into my business. That’s different.

There are so many different kinds of envy….

  • Stuff envy
  • Relationship envy
  • Success envy
  • Power envy
  • Popularity envy
  • Health envy

We tend to think of envy as craving our neighbors new car, nicer home, or fancier wardrobe. Stuff.

But envy is defined as: a feeling of resentment and unhappiness because someone else owns, enjoys, or achieved, what you wish you owned, enjoyed or accomplished.

It’s not fair!

May be true.

She doesn’t deserve it!

May also be true.

Envy is not about them. Envy is about us. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about resentment and unhappiness.

It’s time to breakup with envy.

Breaking up with envy will make you happier. I promise.

Today’s Activity:

1. Stop comparing – It won’t be easy if you’ve made envy a habit, but you will never stop until you decide to stop. Today is the day to commit to greater happiness by ending comparisons.

2. Ask yourself why you’re envious – Is it about what the person has or is it about the person? Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to envy someone you don’t like? Or someone with whom you have a competitive history? Do some self-analysis, it’s good for you.

3. Set reasonable goals and expectations for yourself – instead of envy which accomplishes nothing, get advice and make a plan to work toward your hopes and dreams.

4. Recognize that you’re not looking at the big picture – The next time you catch yourself envying someone, stop and remember that no one has a perfect life. Everyone experiences a mixture of good and bad, and although you may want their good you probably don’t want to deal with their bad.

5. Know that God may be protecting you – God has equipped you for your life. He may be protecting you from choices, experiences, and frustrations by allowing you to do without something you want.

Are you ready to focus on what you have over what you don’t?
Are you ready to love people over possessions, power, and popularity?
Are you ready to breakup with envy?

Yay! Me too!

Photo Credit


  1. Caleb Suko

    I just love your #1 activity “Stop comparing”. It’s such and easy thing to do but it just doesn’t give us any benefit. We have 5 kids and we are always working on this with them because they love to compare what they got with what their siblings got. It’s a constant battle. We even made a rule for our household called “mind your own business”, which means don’t be constantly complaining how your brother or sister got a better deal than you.

    I think this is really 10th commandment stuff. God tells us not to envy anything that our neighbor has.

    Thanks for the great reminder!

    • Deb

      Caleb, We raised 3 children so I completely understand the comparing thing. I love your MYOB rule. Great idea. On any given day there will be things about which we can complain and things that are great. It’s up to us where we place our focus. Sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job teaching your children to focus on their blessings.

    • Deb

      “Wonderfully ouch.” That’s funny! But I must tell you, I wear the ouch too. I tend to write about the things God is showing me need His forgiveness, grace, and new direction. Then I love to invite my precious readers along for the ride. So blessed and thankful that He never gives up on me.

  2. Melanie Wilson

    Excellent advice, Deb. I love #3 and would add: Remember who you are! We start envying when we forget that we are God’s beloved. He’s absolutely crazy about us! We don’t have to do anything to get his love and attention.

    • Deb

      Oh Mel, I completely agree. If we are at peace focusing on the perfect and complete love God has for us, we don’t have time to compare. We will never be able to say, “God loves you best!” Because He graciously loves each of us BEST. I tell Rev all the time that “he is my best.” God feels that way and more about each of His beloved children. Thanks for adding this Mel.

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