In my original post entitled, “Origins of the Seven Deadly Sins”, the sixth of the great deadly sins is Envy and is described as:
6. Envy – Latin: Invidia, Animal: Dog, Colour: Green
Envy is the desire to have something someone else has. Envy cannot be used on an object – it is always towards an individual or group. For example, when someone owns something you desire, it is not the item you are envious of but the feelings you believe that the person has for owning the desired item.
So what exactly is ENVY?
Envy as described above is a wish to possess something belonging to someone else. More specifically it is the desire to acquire sometimes materialistic items belonging to other people and at other times it can be the desire to possess character traits of someone else. Envy is a build up of discontentment and resentment. Envy can even be as simple as wishing other people ill or harm. However, at the heart of feeling envy is a strong sense of self-loathing.
Various Definitions of Envy:
- From the French word “envie”
- In middle English envy meaning hostility
- Also from the Latin word “Invidia”
- A desire to own or possess something belonging to other people
- Envy is a strong resentment of possessions or characteristics of other people.
Why is Envy classed as a Sin and by Whom?
Envy is classed as a sin in Christianity for various reasons. As the feeling of envy promotes inner desire to possess materialistic things as well as causing harm to other people, no wonder this emotion poses a threat to the general wellbeing of a person. Because of the desire to possess and take from another individual, envy is a danger to in that it encourages theft, something forbidden in religious scriptures. This feeling generally makes an individual feel extremely unhappy with their inner self thus affecting their soul.
Envy compared to other emotions such as Jealousy
Envy and jealousy often go hand in hand in everyday language and are often confused with each other. But they are in fact two distinct type of emotions. Where jealousy is based primarily on a fear of loss of a possession or person you are closely attached to, envy is specifically a form of resentment aimed at the other person who possesses what you truly desire. In this respect, envy is a malicious feeling.
- Distinguish if it is indeed envy you are feeling rather than jealousy. Are your thoughts based on a feeling of wanting to have the feeling of other person or what the other person actually is in possession of or owns. If your thoughts are preoccupied with the other person’s feelings then it is definitely envy.
- Remember that envy is a very strong emotion causing you to suffer emotional pain. Furthermore underlying this emotion is a feeling of lack of self-worth as well as eating away at your self-esteem. So try to question your own lack of confidence and why you feel so low.
- Consider that envy is not simply a strong form of desire. It runs much deeper than this causing you to create inner disharmony in your soul. Think deeply about what it is you are looking for instead of focusing on what is lacking and desiring this. Also focus on your good qualities and be thankful for what you have.
- Question your perception on what is true happiness. Can that possession you really want give you that inner peace of mind and happiness you are looking for? Is there another way of finding that happiness? If you search within yourself you will find a wealth of feelings there which you may have been supressing as a result of fixating on that one thing you desire.
- Envy can sometimes be likened to anger. Although there are many anger management classes, there is a distinct lack of envy management. But if you see the problem much like anger management, you can begin to appreciate how hard it is to overcome envy especially if you find it difficult to empathise with someone suffering from envy issues.
- Try to concentrate on other emotions as well. It is easy to get fixated on this strong feeling as envy can become overpowering and unbearable. Recognise that you are human and therefore susceptible to all types of emotions and envy is no exception. Give yourself credit for trying to overcome envy.
Last of all – don’t allow envy to engulf your life and to reduce the quality of your lifestyle!
The Seven Deadly Sins Series
This begins with “Origins of the Seven Deadly Sins”
1. Overcoming Lust as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 2. Overcoming Gluttony as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 3. Overcoming Greed as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 4. Overcoming Sloth as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 5. Overcoming Wrath as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 7. Overcoming Pride as One of the Seven Deadly Sins |
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