22 June 2023

What is envy according to the Bible? – Know the meaning of envy in the Catholic Bible

By Donald

the 7 deadly sins are a traditional enumeration of the vices or human desires that are considered most harmful to the soul. These sins are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and laziness.

Each of these sins represents a negative inclination of human nature and is considered a barrier to spiritual growth. The Catholic Church has highlighted them throughout history as a guide to recognizing and avoiding harmful behavior. Today we delve into the concept of envy.

Concept of envy in the Bible

The Bible is positioned as one of the most important books in history due to the influence and relevance that it has had throughout the years, spreading the word on the Catholic religion. In this sense, he addresses various issues, among which he emphasizes the evil acts of humanity and the feelings that can lead us down dark paths.

One of the themes that the Bible addresses is that of envy. Within its general concept, it can be said that it refers to to the feeling of wanting to have something someone else owns.

It is important to understand that this sense of ownership that a person wants from another It can refer to anything, depending on the context in which it is found. It can be in the romantic field, longing to obtain an object from someone else, wishing to have someone else’s talent, or anything else.

Now, framing this within the biblical perspective, it is not difficult to reach the conclusion that, in the eyes of God, envy is classified as a sin continuous. Therefore, it can be affirmed that it is a conduct or behavior that God does not accept.

In the same way, there are biblical facts that exemplify the scope that envy can have. We must remember that feelings can manifest at different levels. For example, we can experience a little sadness, a moderate one, or even one that is much more intense than the rest.

In this sense, the same is true of envy. Can have a small or insignificant envy, but it can also grow and become a much stronger and more damaging envy. That is why it is important to learn to control our emotions and thoughts from an early age.

What does the Bible say about envy between brothers?

As we mentioned above, all emotions or feelings They have a range or level of control. In this sense, it is important to avoid taking negative feelings to the extreme, and envy qualifies as one of them.

However, it is important to note that we are not promoting the repression of these feelings. Human emotions are complex and tangled, so there will be times when you feel things you don’t want to experience. However, that does not mean that it is wrong, since the important thing lies in how to control and manage what you feel.

One of the ways in which it can manifest envy is through the relationship of brotherhood. This means that we could become annoyed or angry, even towards our own brothers. There may be various reasons, but at this level the feeling intensifies.

In fact, the Bible presents us with one of the best-known examples: the case of Cain and Abel. In short, they were both children of Adam and Eve and their brotherly relationship was good until they presented their respective altars to God. On this occasion, God preferred Abel’s altar to Cain’s.

This is when envy comes into play. Cain did not know how to control his feelings of envy towards his brother, that is, his emotions overflowed. And because of his lack of control, he committed an act that would mark him for life: he decided to murder his own brother and damn his soul.

This is the most famous example in the Bible of the havoc envy can wreak. Besides, contains other related subtexts with God and theological issues. However, one of the main focuses of this story is that envy can be destructive.

What are the causes of envy?

We name some of the causes that can generate or lead to envy:

  • A low self-esteem: when we don’t have a positive opinion about ourselves, we tend to look for a standard or way of seeing ourselves as someone ‘better’. From this concept, comparisons with other people arise that can further affect our perception of ourselves. The reason is that we long to have something that others have and we don’t. In extreme cases, this can lead to depression.
  • Egocentrism: This would be the opposite case to the previous one, but it ends up leading to the same result: envy. It’s okay to be self-confident and secure, but when you start putting yourself above others and comparing yourself, things change. If you see someone better or above you, you start to fall on the same path as in the previous case, which is negative for you. Jealousy also comes into play here.
  • Demand too much of yourself: It’s okay to always seek the best, but within reasonable limits. In other words, if you demand superhuman abilities from yourself or if it affects your environment, then there is a problem.
  • prejudices: unfortunately, we live in a world where this cause abounds. People are always going to judge for any reason, and that leads us to enter this spiral of comparisons that always ends in the same thing: envy.

Other important reasons could be having feelings of rejection, as well as fears and limitations in your environment or in your person.

What consequences does envy have according to the Catholic Bible?

Like all issues, envy is caused by a combination of many factors Different from each other. In this way, it is necessary to take these reasons into account to identify them and to avoid falling into it.

According to the Bible, it is mentioned that ‘Envy is the rottenness of the bones’ (Proverbs 14, 30). Besides, also referred to as ‘acts of the flesh’ in the New Testament, which should be avoided by Christians.

Likewise, the Bible offers a list of tips to overcome it, as well as mentions its consequences. Within the latter, it is stated that envy can lead to bitterness and anger. In addition, it could also cause conflict, division and destruction. All this, without mentioning the most obvious: it takes you away from God.

Are envy and jealousy the same according to the Bible?

This question can be a bit complex. The reason is that the similarities between being jealous and envy show that they could easily be synonymous. However, their meanings have certain differences that make them not the same. That is to say, you can apply them in the same contextbut the reasons why they are caused come from a different form or trigger.

In the case of jealousy, you have to understand that these arise when you perceive someone as a rival that could affect you in some way. It can be in a relationship, a competition, or any situation where someone is against you. On the other hand, envy is a feeling that arises from the comparison between you and other people. You must be careful with this feeling contrary to the teachings of the bible.

In conclusion, envy is a destructive feeling that can affect people of all ages including children. It is important to teach children to recognize and face envy, fostering gratitude and joy for the achievements of others. Promoting empathy and respect for others can help counteract this negative feeling and cultivate a mindset of appreciation and collaboration.