Once we realize we may have a problem with envy, we need to figure out where the problem is, exactly.
Chances are, we won’t need to look very far. As Aristotle observed: “We envy those who are near us in time, place, age or reputation.”
Envy isn’t a world traveler. It busies itself with the locals.
So the Hollywood star with her perfect figure, gorgeous face, and fabulous wardrobe is probably not a threat. But when a new girl shows up at church and turns all the guys’ heads, we may suddenly feel unattractive and discontent.
Women around the globe get married, have babies, and move into bigger houses every day, and we barely notice. But when our best friend gets married, has babies, and moves into a bigger house, we may find it hard to rejoice.
We may admire talented people, from afar. But if the girl in our class gets a better grade, or our coworker earns a promotion, or a mom we know does a better job with her kids, or if a friend gets more attention for her gifts and talents than we do, we may find a resentful feeling rising up in our hearts.
The closer a person is, the more we should beware of envy.