This is the fifth of a multi-part series on the Seven Deadly Sins written by Father Robert Wills, Canon Theologian of the Mid-South Diocese, ICCEC. A new part will be posted on a regular basis. As a note, Canon Wills notes these are the Seven Deadly Sins recognized by a group of monks in the 5th Century.
5. ENVY—Hatred and Contempt Leading to the Desire for Greater Personal Power.
The term ENVY comes from the Roman word invidia—a word that signifies a “withering look” or the “evil eye.” It is a look of hatred or contempt that looks down upon and degrades others. It is a rejection of who God has created us to be, and a desire to prevent others from fulfilling who they were created to be. It is a desire to be god-like or to have god-like power without developing Godly character. Envious people do not respond to God, because they convince themselves that they must look out for themselves and promote themselves because God short changed them when they were created, and He probably doesn’t care about them anyway.
Envious people wish that they could become more powerful.
Prov 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways;
The envious person has little compassion for the needy.
Prov 14:30-31 A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.
Envy brings the judgement of God upon people and nations.
Ezek 35:11 “therefore, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you.
Envy leads to a rejection of Christ and a failure to embrace what God is doing in the earth.
Mat 27:17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
Mat 27:18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
Envy leads to placing carnal desires ahead of the work of the Spirit.
1 Cor 3:3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
Envy is the opposite of love.
1 Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
Envy ministers for selfish ambition and enslaves the Body of Christ.
Phil 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will:
Phil 1:16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;
Phil 1:17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.
Envy causes confusion and dissention in the Church.
1 Tim 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
1 Tim 6:4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
1 Tim 6:5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
Envy is an enemy of the truth and does not submit to Godly authority in the Church.
James 3:14, 16 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.