5 Easy Ways to Stop Envy and Love Your Life

Envy is not about what someone else has it's about how you and I feel about what someone else has. Here are 5 ways to stop envy and love your life.

Do you ever compare your life to the pretty picture lives of your friends on social media and feel like you’re missing out?

Jesus challenged the people of His day with these words…

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” He said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.

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 7:14–15, 21–23

I’ll admit it makes me uncomfortable when things like envy, slander, and pride get listed among the “things that defile.” Ouch!

Those other things like theft, murder, and wickedness are okay they don’t feel as personal. But envy and pride . . . that gets into my business. It’s harder.

But maybe it’s time for us to take a closer look at envy and why it messes with the kind of life God wants for us.

I imagine many of us think of envy as craving or “coveting” our neighbor’s new car, nicer home, or fancier wardrobe. Their stuff.

But envy comes in a variety of forms. There’s…

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

Because…

Envy is defined as any feeling of resentment and unhappiness because someone else owns, enjoys, or achieves, what you wish you owned, enjoyed or accomplished.

The truth is that envy is not about what someone else has it’s about how you and I feel about what someone else has. It’s about our hearts and those ugly feelings of resentment and unhappiness.

My friends, today is the day to stop comparing ourselves to each other and break up with envy.

It will make you happier. I promise.

Envy is not about what someone else has it's about how you and I feel about what someone else has. Here are 5 ways to stop envy and love your life.

5 Easy Ways to Stop Envy and Love Your Life

1. Stop Comparing

Of course, that’s #1. There would be no envy if we didn’t make comparisons.

But it’s not easy, is it? We scroll through social media and everyone’s lives look polished and pretty. They’re taking wonderful trips, have happy family reunions, live in beautiful homes, wear beautiful clothes, and…

What if you and I decided to stop and praise God for every good thing . . . every blessing our friends enjoy and simply be happy for them.

Lysa Terkeurst has written much about the attitude of our hearts that I’m adding to my points today. Food for thought that I hope will inspire you.

“How a woman thinks is often how she lives.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

2. Know Your Why

Ask yourself why you feel 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. Let it go. Forgive the past and enjoy your future.

“Truth has a powerful way of interrupting our runaway feelings if only we’ll get it in front of us.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

3. Set Reasonable Goals

Live YOUR life. You and I have plenty to keep us busy, we have been blessed with gifts and abilities. Let’s make it a goal to use them . . . to function in our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. To live each day being the best version of ourselves we can be.

Envy accomplishes nothing.

And you and I can defeat it through…

Prayer. Getting wise counsel. And making plans to work toward accomplishing our hopes and dreams.

“I was made for more than being stuck in a vicious cycle of defeat. I am not made to be a victim of my poor choices. I was made to be a victorious child of God.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

4. Look at the Whole Person

When you find yourself envying someone, remember no one’s life is perfect.

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.

“I’m not equipped to handle what she has, both good and bad and what she has is always a package deal of both. In other words, I’ve been assigned a load I can handle.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

5. Trust God’s Love

God equipped you for your life . . . good and bad.

He sees your whole life and knows what’s best. Many of the things you envy may not be good for you. God may be protecting you from heartache and frustrations by allowing you to do without something you want because He loves you.

“God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live . . . loved.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

Envy is not about what someone else has it's about how you and I feel about what someone else has. Here are 5 ways to stop envy and love your life.

Friends, envy is like walking into the last chapter of the Book of Job and forgetting chapters 1 through 41.

Job prayed for his friends, and the Lord made Job successful again. The Lord gave him twice as much as he had before. So Job lived for 140 years more. He lived to see his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and his great-great-grandchildren. Job lived to be a very old man who had lived a good, long life. Job 42:10, 16–17

Who wouldn’t be thrilled with the last 140 years of Job’s life?

I wonder, how many of us would willingly sign up for the before . . . the loss of all his children, every possession, and his health?

Would we be able to say, The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21

You and I can stop envying in its tracks by remembering that someone’s “right now” isn’t their whole story. We don’t know what they’ve been through to get here and my guess is if we knew we wouldn’t want to trade places.

God equipped you for your life. He equipped me for mine.

Here’s one more quote from Lysa Terkeurst…

“God is able to stand in my yesterday, today, and tomorrow, He knows things and sees things for which I need to be prepared.” ~Lysa Terkeurst

Make it a goal starting today, to…

♥ Refuse to compare.
♥ Know your why.
♥ Set reasonable goals.
♥ Look at the whole person.
♥ Trust God’s love.

And…

Focus on what you have not what you don’t.
Love people over possessions, power, and popularity.
And break up with envy?

Count your blessings and love your life!

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14 comments

  1. Mary Flaherty
    Twitter:
    says:

    Deb, this is so right on. I just started reading a book by Bob Sorge on envy (I think it’s appropriately titled, Envy: The Enemy Within). He said everything you said. Interestingly, I said to myself, “I don’t really have a problem with envy.” Then your blog lands in my mailbox, in addition to the book I’m reading, “just because I like Bob Sorge and I just got it for free.” So, I guess the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention. And I realize I DO have a problem…someone in bloggy land landed a book deal, and I was not happy for her, but envious. Forget that I don’t even have a book that is comparable to hers. I just didn’t want her to have that success. YUCK!!!

    In Bob’s book, he says that envy at its worst can be compared to murder because really, don’t we want to kill what that person has and take it for ourselves? It’s a nasty little critter, that envy bug. But in God’s kingdom, there is plenty to go around, and he promotes us and blesses us as He sees fit. Thanks for another spot on post.
    Mary Flaherty recently posted..Don’t Summon the JuryMy Profile

  2. Emily
    Twitter:
    says:

    Trusting that God has equipped me in the perfect way and not questioning His design for me has been one of the biggest lessons that I’ve been learning over the past 23 years of my life. Some days I feel like I utterly failed at learning it; but He is a gracious and patient Father. I’m so thankful that Jesus helps us in our infirmities.

  3. Martha Orlando
    Twitter:
    says:

    When we compare ourselves with others, we’re always in for a downward spiral. Much like pride, envy destroys the person God means for us to be because we set up false idols in His place. This is awesome, inspired advice today, Deb! I’m thanking God right now for you and all the blessings He gives me each day!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..“HUGE” RevisitedMy Profile

  4. Becky says:

    Such an on time word for me. I has just confessed to my sis about my jealous feelings I have toward someone concerning their new job. .God was listening to my conversation because your email was in my mailbox first thing this morning…Thanks for listening to the Spirit on what to write.

    Becca

  5. Ruth says:

    “You and I can stop envying in its tracks by remembering that someone’s “right now” isn’t their whole story.”
    This is SO right on! A big AMEN! I like how you tied this to Job and how we wouldn’t have wanted to go through what he went through to get to where he was at the end of his life. Such amazing insight!
    Thanks for writing this!

  6. Elaine
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is very convicting – I agree, it’s difficult to see envy in the same list as murder and theft. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting something that isn’t yours and daydreaming about what your life would be like. I’m guilty of being envious of other people’s financial situations, those who are debt free. That’s a dream of mine but instead of being envious I need to do something about it! Thank you for this! Visiting from Grace&Truth.

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