How Do We Handle Envy? A Round Table Discussion {Part 1 of 4}

Go ahead – paste “ugly” all over it. The temptation battles nearly all of us at one point or another. It’s envy.

What if we shed light on envy and have a real, girlfriend-to-girlfriend discussion about it? What if we share our struggles and how we overcame them? Then what?

And they overcame...by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; Rev. 12:11a KJV Click To Tweet

I smell victory.

Do you?

Feel free to pull up a chair and sit around the table. It’s our first ever post at “A Round Table.” 

A Round Table is a kitchen table of sorts here at KristiWoods.net. It’s a periodic post series, a place where we come, sit, and share our battles with a specific emotion or situation.

But that’s not all.

It’s also a powerful place where eyes search Jesus to live life daily. It’s a place we smell victory. At A Round Table we tackle real issues and grab maturity for our faith through Jesus.

This week we’ll be joining five Christian bloggers and authors as we discuss the B A T T L E with  E N V Y.

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Feel free to comment below. We’re here, ready to keep the discussion going with you.

We’ll tackle NINE questions concerning ENVY over the next four days. Yes ~ FOUR days!

Make sure you sign up here so you don’t miss a single post. It’s ammunition, just for you.

Ready? Let’s go!

Please meet these beautiful Jesus gals sitting at the table with us. Each is a blogger and author. They write beautifully, but the real discussions these gals offer prove even more beautiful. Please meet:

Lisa Appelo of True and Faithful 

Kristine Brown of More Than Yourself

Betsy de Cruz of Faith Spilling Over

Abby McDonald of Fearfully Made Mom

Tiffany Parry of Simply for One

And your host, me – Kristi of KristiWoods.net 

1. Define Envy – what does it look like to you?

Lisa: Envy grows out of comparison, but I think it’s really based in hate – hating that someone else has what we want or hating someone else for what they have.

Kristi: Oh, Lisa. I’ve not thought of envy under the umbrella of hate. I cringe at the thought, but it’s true, isn’t it? Envy is a form of selfishness and pride. It’s all about “me.” That often links arms with hate, not love – the devil, not Jesus. Envy is a spiritual fight, that’s for certain.

Abby: I think envy comes from the belief that God is withholding something from us. Whether we realize it or not, we believe that God has given someone else better gifts than we have and are dissatisfied with what he’s given us. We may even believe God loves this other person more than he loves us.

You can see traces of this type of mindset in the interactions of the first woman: Eve. In the Garden of Eden, she lacked nothing. Yet, the serpent was still able to convince her that God was withholding something from her. And we all know how this deception turned out.

Kristi: It is deception, Abby. So true!

Action Step~
How about you? Let us know in the comments below what envy looks like to you.

2. Where do you see envy in the church, in ministry?

Betsy: We don’t like to admit that there’s envy in the church, but it can rear its ugly head when we compare our ministry to someone else’s. God called my husband and me to a ministry of the small. We lead a small church. I have a small women’s ministry that consists of encouraging people, one-on-one. Last year, I thought about starting a women’s group, but God spoke to me clearly through a friend, “The women you know don’t need another meeting. They need personal encouragement.”

Lisa: Envy is so insidious. It creeps into every area of our life. Within a church, it’s easy for us women to envy other women. I might envy someone’s looks, family, marriage, standard of living, home, talents, personality, children, friendships, or the size and shape of her ministry. The list is endless because envy has an insatiable appetite.

Abby: There are a few things I’ve found tremendously helpful in battling envy. First, I thank God for the gifts he’s given me. I say them out loud, journal them and keep them in the forefront of my mind when I’m tempted to covet what another person has. Second, I encourage others when they achieve their goals. When you encourage another sister and truly mean it with your heart, it is difficult to be envious of her. And last, I remember the words Jesus prayed for believers during his final hours before his crucifixion. He longed for us to be unified as one body. It’s difficult to do that when I’m jealous of another person’s gifts.

Kristi: Such insight, girls. Our ministries, even our walk with the Lord, won’t mirror another’s. It’s personal. Isn’t it just like the devil to take the personal side and warp its view from a God thing into a “what about me?” thing? And Abby, I love your idea of giving thanks, encouraging others, and remembering Jesus. There’s power when we go back to the word.

A Thought for You, my friend ~ Envy is something most of us have battled. Let’s get real, admit to envy, and set it on the table. Something hints that we don’t need to carry it any longer. Jesus assures love proves a better grasp. Ready?

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow. Until then, we’ll “see” you in the comments below.

 
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39 Comments

    1. Love your input, Betsy, and you! Thanks for walking hand-in-hand on this one. The responses were SO good. I can’t wait to share each day’s post this week.

    1. Knowing and letting go ~ yes, Jodie! You understand. Thanks for visiting today. Don’t forget to check out the others posts tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday.

  1. What a great concept to study and with such insight from these wise women trusting in God’s truth to speak into and over our worldly thoughts of envy. Love does provide a better grasp-love that visual! Thanks Kristi (& all our wise friends) for digging into what God says to correct and lead us away from envy!

  2. With kids girls especially in this day and age we are always talking about envy. I have found myself many times having a talk with one or the other girl because someone’s words hurt them after they accomplished something good or had a new outfit or whatever someone had to say something. We talk about how this person probably just feels bad they can’t have the same thing or wanted to accomplishment also….but why can’t we be happy for others?? Why is that so hard and the green eye of envy seems to be stronger?? In return we have talked about we need to lift others when they do good things and truly in our hearts be happy for them, not talk bad about how they achieved it or put the other person down…..NO be happy for them!!! Envy brings out the worst in all of us and I never thought of it as hate but it is a very hateful thing!!

    Thank you for doing it this!! Lots of things to think about for the day!!!

    1. Hi Jennifer! (Guys, this is my childhood friend – friend of over 40 years!!!!) It’s alive an well with teens, isn’t it? But aren’t you wise to be discussing it with your girls. Truly, it’s a spiritual battlefield, and why not grab ’em young? Even more reason to combat it with God’s word and sage advice. Thanks for joining us today, Jennifer. It gets better each day. Promise. 😉

      1. It does get better, it’s just raising them to know envy gets them no where and pray a lot for those who envy you and use words to hurt. I just have such a hard time understanding envying someone and hurting them with words back seems like the right thing. Just keep praying and teaching!!

        I did envy said childhood friend though she had a Mrs Beasley doll and I never did!! But good news it made it all the better to go to her house …..just don’t ask what happened tomsaid doll????

      2. It does get better, it’s just raising them to know envy gets them no where and pray a lot for those who envy you and use words to hurt. I just have such a hard time understanding envying someone and hurting them with words back seems like the right thing. Just keep praying and teaching!!

        I did envy said childhood friend though she had a Mrs Beasley doll and I never did!! But good news it made it all the better to go to her house …..just don’t ask what happened to said doll!

        1. Ha! Mrs. Beasley. Too bad the dog loved her more than all of us. Isn’t it funny that we loved a little old womanish doll?!

  3. Oh Kristi, already this morning I can tell this is going to hurt. In the best way. Seeing aside the rest of this week to chisel out the ugliness of envy in all the books and crannies of my heart. Thank you for this series.

    1. We’re all in this race together. And envy’s not invited. There! Take that envy. You can’t have Lisa or me or these readers. #goJesus Love you and certainly appreciate your input with this #roundtable, Lisa. xo

  4. I wonder… do you think envy and jealousy go hand in hand? I just did a search on my blog for envy. Instead I found articles on jealousy. I don’t know why I chose that word. Maybe because it doesn’t sound as harsh.

    Great topic. I love it.

    1. Envy does have a deeper, heart-level connotation, but I guess they are linked. I think of jealousy as more about people. As in, “Jealous of my friend having coffee with someone else when she didn’t have time for me.” But maybe that’s just my thought. Envy has a broader meaning for me.

  5. Loving this Round Table concept, Kristi. So creative. — To me, envy seems like a means to an end for satan — the end being discouragement. How many things have we set aside or given up on as a result of discouragement? Satan likes to get us looking around, whether it be at others’ progress, or at our perceived lack of progress, because then we’re not looking at the narrow path we’re supposed to be on with God. And, that’s where the sweet spot of freedom is, isn’t it? Satan is a bully, but like your verse above indicates — love is stronger! 🙂 Thanks for putting this together, Kristi, look forward to the rest of the week. ((xoxo))

    1. Yay! Glad you’re joining us, Brenda. Oh goodness, yes. Discouragement sits at envy’s finish line. It’s Satan’s ground, that’s for certain. But overall? Love is stronger. #goJesus

  6. Kristi, I love A Round Table and the topic you’re addressing this week. With social media, I see envy starting to rise up in me at times. Thank you for gathering a group of soul sisters together!

  7. So glad to be joining in this honest conversation. It’s so powerful when we can come together, unite forces, and provide practical ways to handle these spiritual battles. Thanks for kicking of a needed conversation, Kristi!

    1. So thankful to have you gals sharing your wisdom and “real.” I think it’s something that’s been on several of our hearts for a bit.

  8. What a wonderful group of ladies you have here, Kristi! Love this idea.
    This stood out to me: “Whether we realize it or not, we believe that God has given someone else better gifts than we have and are dissatisfied with what he’s given us.” Ouch. I don’t know that I believe that consciously, but it must be rooted somewhere in my heart and needs light shined on it.

  9. I love the round table idea and imagine you could answer questions about envy for much longer than a week. The voices you chose to join you are all lovely and provide good insight. Thank you Kristi!

    1. Funny you mention that, Mary. This started off as a 1-day, maybe 2-day, post. It morphed into a solid 4 days with potential for more.

  10. I suffer from “Jeep Envy”–I wish I had the same equipment (newer, better suited for the terrain, more features) that other travelers have. Just think of all I could do if I had____. Instead, God wants me to be creative with what he has given me–to dedicate my skills and talents to HIS work, not my work.

  11. Oh, there’s a good reason why Paul’s definition of love excludes envy. Thanks for these insights on the sin that separates friends and sucks all the air out of the room when it’s allowed to have its way.
    Blessings to you, wise women!

  12. I absolutely loved the Round Table! I just posted on this very subject on my blog today with an emphasis of Envy in a Blended/Stepfamily. Unfortuanly, it creeps into re-marriages rather easy and can be the root of second marriages failing. Envy of the first wife, envy of stepkids, step-sibling envy. So complicated, so easy to get lost in and yet we are called to Love without envy. If only everyone in a blended family loved Jesus and understood the way Love was intended.
    Thank you ALL for sharing your wisdom!

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  14. Envy is one of those flesh traits that God has been drawing my attention more often than I’d like. I’m grateful that I have a choice when envy-igniting thoughts or emotions barge into my head.