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Controversial and Thought-Provoking Articles for the Savvy Christian

Envy–The Wasted Emotion

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Monday

Savvy Article #0909

Envy is a wasted emotion. I say this because envy is based on a lie. In order to feel envious, we must believe that something that someone is, or has, makes them a happier person than we are. We must also believe that having that thing will make us happy.

I was sitting in a Christian meeting, discussing a holiday party. It was a new group to me, and I didn’t know the pretty woman who offered her home for the party. She declared casually that if enough people came, she might open up the bowling alley.

Yes, her home has a bowling alley. I felt my jealousy rise, like a dark green cloud, hypnotizing and powerful.  It must be nice, I thought.

Then, my friend sitting next to me explained this: the woman, I’ll call her Trisha, has this huge and luxurious home because she was chosen for the show, EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION.

I was still in a dark dream, not ready to see the truth. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Must be nice.

What an idiot I was.

My friend then explained the circumstances that Trisha had suffered in order to make her eligible for this luxurious home.

Trisha’s daughter has a debilitating and rare disease, and it took doctors months to diagnose her. The girl needed many trips to emergency rooms and hospitals. By the time the daughter was diagnosed with this currently incurable disease, the medical bills had bankrupted the family. At their lowest point, they were homeless and penniless. THAT is when the television show stepped in.

Oh my. I woke up as if I’d been slapped. What a terrible story. I mean, terrible concerning the pain that Trisha and her family had suffered. Wonderful how the Lord provided.

But, looking at Trisha’s pain sobered me. Would I have wanted her pain in order to get the fancy house? NO! A world of NO!

Then why was I, however briefly, jealous? I had assumed way too much. I believed Trisha was happy because of her “good” fortune, that she had a huge and beautiful house, given to her for free by a TV show, blah, blah, blah. I thought this must make her happier, or perhaps even better, than me.

Lesson learned? The next-door neighbor who has tons of friends, while you have few—he feels unhappy because no one accepts him as he is. That nerd you knew in high school who is now famous?  His father used to beat him, and he barely wins his every-day battle with shame.

As a result of this incident with Trisha, I am trying, however hard it is, to accept what God has given me in this life—the joys and the pains. Without this element, I cannot be completely joyful in Christ. I endanger my own happiness when I judge how He deals with others, especially believers. Their story with God is their story, not mine.

So let’s review:

You never know what pains others have.

Envy is based on a BIG LIE.

Envy is a wasted emotion.

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


3 Responses to “Envy–The Wasted Emotion”

  1. Chris says:

    You are so right, my sister. Everything comes with a price tag of some kind. May you be greatly blessed.

  2. Joanna says:

    Denise – what a great reminder. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Thank you, ladies, for your comments. Greatly appreciated. It’s good to know that my story blessed you.

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