I remember a sad episode of envy in my life. Someone (close to me) got something I wanted. To be honest, I was content to live without it—until she got it. But when she did, I was consumed with self-pity and discontent.
It was not a pretty sight.
The real ugliness, though, lay below the surface. These words expose envy for the evil that it is:
“What an envier wants is not, first of all, what another has; what an envier wants is for another not to have it…The envier has empty hands and therefore wants to empty the hands of the envied. Envy, moreover, carries overtones of personal resentment; an envier resents not only somebody else’s blessing but also the one who has been blessed” (Cornelius Plantinga).
Remember the story of the two women who came to Solomon in a dispute over a baby? The one who stole the baby was content to let the true mother be bereaved, just as she was. What appalling behavior!
But in my envy, I was no better. I wanted to snatch someone’s blessing away, simply because I couldn’t have it. And even though I loved this person dearly, I resented her for being blessed.
It was hard to face, but seeing envy, in all its ugliness, was the first and necessary step toward killing it.