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Avoid envy

HAVE you seen an envious person who is happy? Envious people are never genuinely happy. If they look happy, they just fake it. They are not contented with their own blessings. They are bitter when someone they know is enjoying a good fortune, a happy personal life, a successful career, good health, and great friendships. Never expect them to rejoice with you. They just can’t – and they won’t admit it. Their lives are unhappy and unfulfilled that they feel uncomfortable and inferior when an aspect of your life sparkles. They feel the need to dull your shine, so they are quick to dish out a few hurting comments.

Envious people are stingy when giving compliments (they even have to force themselves!) but they crave your admiration when they achieve or acquire anything. They do not want to hear the details when you tell them of your success. To them, you are a competitor. They are skilled at giving seemingly harmless statements to downgrade your achievement because they have a strong need to dominate or to feel superior. You have the very qualities and position that they want for themselves – but they just can’t have them!

A story is told of the famous Olympic hero Theagenes who won in many events. The people of Thasos erected a statue in his honor. A former opponent of Theagenes never succeeded in defeating him while he was still alive. Blinded by envy, he whipped the statue of Theagenes every night, until it fell on the envious former opponent and killed him instantly.

Avoid envy. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Appreciate what you have. Work hard to achieve what you want, and be thankful for small things. Remember that life is not a competition.

Enjoy it! God blesses people in His time and according to His purpose.

Be kind when envious people try to make you feel miserable (but never let them succeed). It’s their misery projected onto you. Someone said, “When people put you down, they are already below you”.

Marilyn Arayata: inspirational author, columnist, speaker, and former DLSU-D faculty, your partner in preventing bullying, depression, and suicide. E-mail inspire.equip@gmail.com. Like the Hope Boosters Facebook Page for nuggets of hope and inspiration.

Always read TEMPO for articles that inform, inspire, and equip! (Marilyn C. Arayata)